The government is to extend its review of employment law to tighten up discrimination compensation and dilute rules protecting employees’ rights when a business is transferred from one owner to another.
Lib Dem minister Ed Davey will announce the new areas up for review at the Institute for Economic Affairs today as the government attempts to clear away restrictions for employers.
The government is already simplifying the employment tribunal system, looking at extending the period before an unfair dismissal claim can be brought and reviewing the system for managing sickness absence.
But now it will consider moving on discrimination compensation and Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations (TUPE).
A government source said: “Many employers worry that high awards atemployment tribunals encourage people to take weak, speculative or vexatious cases in the hope of a large payout.”
It will also look at collective redundancy rules. “Employers are concerned that the current requirement that consultation over collective redundancy runs for a minimum period of 90 days is hindering their ability to restructure efficiently and retain a flexible workforce. Employers in financial difficulties sometimes worry about how long they need to keep paying staff after it has become clear that they need to let them go,” said the source.
On TUPE rules – protecting employees’ terms and conditions of employment when a business is transferred from one owner to another – the government wants to acknowledge that some business groups believe TUPE rules are “gold-plated” and “overly bureaucratic, and can perversely destroy jobs, not save them”.