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Government outlines unfair dismissal and tribunal reforms
Business Secretary Vince Cable has unveiled the latest round of proposed employment law reforms, which aim to simplify and speed up the process of ending the employment relationship when it breaks down. The proposals are most likely to benefit small businesses.
The Coalition Government started a systematic review of employment law in 2010. This Employment Law Review is now half way through its work, and sits alongside the Employment Law-related Red Tape Challenge to reduce regulatory burdens on business.
The latest package of employment reforms includes:
- a settlement agreements consultation that will set out how the process will work in practice;
- consultation on unfair dismissal claims that will look at the potential for reducing the compensation cap;
- further streamlining of employment tribunals, following on from Justice Underhill’s review; and
- a formal response to the call for evidence on proposals for compensated no fault dismissal for micro-firms and the Acas code on discipline and grievance.
In line with the introduction of employment tribunal fees next year, the Government will extend the current HM Courts & Tribunals Service system to protect access to justice for those who cannot afford to pay the fee.
Given the concerns raised by business respondents to the employment tribunal fees consultation the Government will undertake a review of remissions as part of a wider review required for the introduction of Universal Credit. The review will aim to produce a single remissions system for courts and tribunals which is simpler to use, more cost efficient and better targeted those who can afford to pay fees do so, while continuing to provide access to the courts and tribunal system to those who cannot.