Government Proposals for Employment Law Reform

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In addition to the tribunal reforms, Vince Cable announced in November 2011 a variety of other possible employment law reforms. Many of these proposals have resulted from the ‘Red Tape Challenge’ and consultation will be carried out, where necessary, before any final decisions are made;

  • Introducing “protected conversations” to allow employers to raise workplace issues “in an open way, free from the worry it will be used as evidence in… tribunal”.
  • Different fees for different types of tribunal claims, possibly with a higher fee for higher value claims. A consultation on fees has been published and will close on 6 March 2012 – details can be found on the Ministry of Justice website.
  • “Closing the loophole” in whistleblowing law whereby a complaint about a breach of the employment contract can count as a qualifying disclosure.
  • Improving CRB checks by making them instantly accessible online (from 2013).
  • “Simplifying and streamlining” the UK’s recruitment sector by addressing unnecessarily complex rules on employment businesses and agencies (consultation will start in Spring 2012).
  • Reviewing the Agency Workers Regulations 2010 in 18 months’ time.
  • Simplifying the 17 pieces of National Minimum Wage legislation into one set of regulations.
  • Responding to Dame Carol Black’s 2011 review of sickness absence.
  • Extending the right to request flexible working to everyone.
  • Introducing a more modern system of parental leave that reflects the greater involvement of fathers in childcare.

Watch this space for further updates.