Posted: Friday 5 November 2010
I had intended to post this earlier in the week but was distracted by the various “National Days” – see the previous two blog posts. At the weekend I noticed an interesting article on the BBC website about whether or not existing employment law is too strict in relation to the hoops that employers need to jump through to be able to legitimately sack an employee.
The article focuses on the belief by some (perhaps many!) employers that employment law has become too complicated and in favour of employees that it has resulted in employers feeling pressured into paying off employees that they should actually be sacking.
A source quoted in the BBC article is the British Chambers of Commerce who are described as being “very critical of the current system”. The main problem they seem to have with the employment law system is that it changes too often and is very expensive. This is something which seems to be a common complaint made by employers and is perhaps something that the Government will pick up in any review carried out. The previous Government attempted to go some way to making the position more simply by introducing two key dates (6 April and 1 October) for introducing domestic employment legislation in the UK. However, I suspect for many employers that this does not go far enough and it certainly doesn’t address the criticism that the regulation in this area is overly complicated.
The BBC article says that they have been told that the government is considering two options: introducing fees for people who bring cases to tribunal, to cut down on false claims; and insisting that all cases go to ACAS before tribunal. The issue of fees for lodging a Tribunal claim has been looked at before but rejected (I seem to recall their may have been some human rights element to the reason it was rejected).
Of course the debate will rumble on as to the effectiveness of the employment law regime and it is impossible to please everyone all of the time especially when trying to balance the interest of parties with competing interests. Following on from Lord Young’s recent announcement – see Possibility Of Unfair Dismissal Qualifying Period Increasing - it will be very interesting to watch the progress of the Government’s review and I will keep you updated on any developments as we move forward.