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The Government has recently announced details of the latest in a series of proposed employment law changes, with the focus this time falling on collective redundancy rules.

The announcement comes as part of the Government’s commitment to review employment law to support business and concentrate on growth. It follows a consultation exercise launched in June 2012. 


The Coalition Government started a systematic review of employment law in 2010. This Employment Law Review is now halfway through and, according to the Government, aims to provide clarity, certainty and give businesses the confidence to manage their workforce effectively. 

The Review sits alongside the Employment Law-related Red Tape Challenge to reduce regulatory burdens on business.

Proposed changes

The latest proposed changes include:

  • reducing the current 90 day minimum period, before very large scale redundancies can take place, to 45 days,
  • legislating to make clear that fixed term contracts that have reached the end of their natural life are excluded from obligations for collective redundancies consultation, and
  • introducing new non-statutory Acas guidance to address a number of key issues affecting collective redundancies consultation.

Minimum period

According to the Government, the replacement of the current 90 day period to 45 days will still allow full employee engagement and offer employee representatives a statutory right to contribute to the process. 

The Government has also stressed that the new 45 day period will be a minimum period, and businesses may consult for longer where appropriate.

Mixed reactions

Reaction to the Government’s proposals has been mixed. 

The Institute of Directors welcomed the news, with Alexander Ehmann, Head of Regulatory Policy at the Institute of Directors, commenting that companies that are facing problems have to be able to restructure swiftly, and that a 45 day consultation period brings the UK closer to a number of EU competitors.

Trade union Unison, however, greeted the proposals with dismay, describing the reduced consultation time as “a cruel blow for workers and their families.”


There is a short timescale laid out by the Government. It intends to lay draft regulations early in 2013, and the changes are expected to be made by 6th April 2013.

Responding to the Second Reading of the Enterprise Bill in the House of Commons, Citizens Advice Chief Executive Gillian Guy said:

“We warmly welcome and support some of the changes in this bill that will make it harder for rogue employers to get away with treating people unfairly at work. Most employers behave responsibly, but we still see far too many cases where people are unfairly dismissed or denied their basic workplace rights.

“We’re very pleased that the government has taken up our suggestion to deal with straightforward cases - such as non-payment of holiday pay - more quickly and simply, without the need for an employment tribunal hearing.

“It’s important that rogue employers don’t profit at the expense of decent bosses, so we very much welcome financial penalties for employers in cases where there are ‘aggravating features’, such as those involving rogue employers who don’t engage with the Employment Tribunal process.

“There is one important element missing from a Bill that aims to improve the Employment Tribunal system – namely measures to ensure more effective enforcement of unpaid Employment Tribunal awards and Acas settlements. This Bill provides an opportunity to finally close a loophole that allows some rogue employers to profit from exploitation with impunity. This is grossly unfair not only to those workers who do not receive the compensation due to them, and to the taxpayers whose taxes have paid for employment judges to determine the claim to no end, but also to the vast majority of law-abiding employers.”

According to a new survey by American site, FindLaw.com, 8% of Americans admit to embellishing or exaggerating information on their resume.

And as some recent corporate scandals have highlighted, the consequences can be severe. More than a quarter of the people who admitted padding their resumes said they subsequently lost their job when the false information was later discovered. An additional 3% said they were not offered a job after their resume padding was uncovered.

Resume padding involves presenting false or misleading information about one's education, work experience, professional credentials, job skills or other important personal data.

"With the Internet, employers now have more means to verify information on a resume," said Stephanie Rahlfs, an attorney and editor with FindLaw.com. "Even connections with other people via social media such as Facebook and LinkedIn can reveal inconsistencies with the information that you are presenting to employers."

"As the headlines show time after time, presenting false personal or professional information to an employer is grounds for termination," continued Rahlfs. "Our survey found that when someone provides false information on a resume, more than one-third of the time the deception is later discovered. And the most common result is the loss of a job."

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