Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Government Proposals for Employment Law Reform

The Government has published on the internet (but not yet in any sort of press release) proposals to deregulate business. They cover all sorts of things, from planning to procurement. Of interest to employment law practitioners, the proposals are:-
  • increase the unfair qualifying dismissal period from one year to two years
  • introduce fees for bringing tribunal claims
  • consult on removing Equality Act provisions imposing liability on employers for third party harassment which they do not take reasonable steps to prevent
All these were the subject of consultation some time ago, but no Response to the Consultation has yet been published. This new document, 'One-In, One-Out, Second statement of new Regulation', suggests that the government has already decided what steps it intends to take. See page 14 (Appendix D) of the document.

The question does arise whether these proposals are genuine, or whether they are little more than political grandstanding and cannot be implemented due to EU law issues. Watch this space...

Daniel Barnett

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