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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Unfair Dismissal Advice Lawyers Edgbaston

Employment law reforms unveiled

Posted by on in Dismissal

The Government has published details of proposed employment law reforms relating to termination of employment and employment tribunals.

The proposals include:

  • the use of settlement agreements to help end employment relationships in a fair and consensual way. A consultation on how best to make this work in practice has already begun, and Acas has agreed to provide a new code of practice,
  • how it might reduce the cap on compensation for unfair dismissal claims,
  • proposals to streamline employment tribunals by making it easier for judges to dismiss weak cases,
  • responses to its call for evidence on the TUPE rules, when staff transfer to a new employer. Government has heard that businesses want this to be more efficient, and will consult on specific proposals before the end of the year, and
  • recommendations on how to improve guidance for small businesses on the Acas code of practice on discipline and grievance.

The Government also responded formally to the call for evidence on proposals for compensated no fault dismissal for micro-firms. Based on the evidence presented by business the Government will not be taking forward the proposal.

The Government is already delivering significant reforms of employment law, including extending the period for eligibility for unfair dismissal from one to two years, encouraging more effective ways to resolve disputes and thereby reduce the number of employment tribunals, creating a universally portable Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check and removing the default retirement age. The Government has considered, or is already taking forward, 80% of proposals from Adrian Beecroft’s report on employment law, published earlier this year.

A worker who whistle-blew on racism has won his discrimination claim against Royal Mail. Mr Abdul Musa settled for an undisclosed sum in compensation, after the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) funded his case and represented him at the employment tribunal.

The tribunal in Manchester agreed that Mr Musa was victimised at work and unfairly dismissed by his employer because he had exposed the racist behaviour of his colleagues. It found that managers at the depot in Blackburn had known racism was an issue in the depot, but failed to act to protect Mr Musa.

According to the EHRC, an internal investigation upheld his complaints, after which Royal Mail sacked one worker and disciplined others. But the Employment Tribunal said the investigation was “shambolic”.

The Tribunal also said managers had failed to investigate Mr Musa’s complaints that union representatives were backing an unofficial campaign to have him sacked by fabricating and colluding in evidence.

The Tribunal concluded that Royal Mail saw Mr Musa as a problem and that his employer decided only his dismissal would resolve the negative reaction from other workers in the depot.

Call for Evidence on dismissal

Posted by on in Dismissal

Proposals to examine the current dismissal process have been announced by the Government with the publication of a Call for Evidence.

Through the Call for Evidence, the Government is seeking to establish a strong evidence base on the current understanding of the dismissal process, including awareness, understanding and use of the Acas Code of Practice on Discipline and Grievance. The Government will be seeking the views of employees, business organisations and all other interested parties.

The Government has also published the Employment Law Review annual update in the Houses of Parliament, outlining how the review has been taken forward. The report summarises the current programme and looks ahead to further areas it is considering as part of the Review.

In addition, it was also announced that the Employer’s Charter, first published in January 2011, has been updated to include pointers on sickness absence and recruitment. The Charter aims to counter the misconception that employment protections are all one-way - towards the employee. It will give greater clarity to managers on what they can already do to deal with issues in the workplaces, on subjects such as performance, sick leave, maternity leave, requests for flexible working and redundancy.

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