Laurie Anstis of Boyes Turner has trawled the small print in the latest documents from the government on employment law reform, including the BIS Employment Law Reform Annual Update 2012 and the Call for Evidence on Dismissal and Compensated No-Fault Dismissals.
He has identified the following proposals:-
- reforming discrimination awards isn't possible, due to the European dimension, but information on median awards will be included in tribunal claim forms (Annual Update paras 4.26 and 4.30)
- both employees and employers will be able to initiate 'protected conversations' (Call for Evidence, p14)
- if a regime of compensated no-fault dismissal is introduced, the old rules will remain so that an employer can still dismiss an employee without payment of compensation if they had a fair reason for dismissal and acted reasonably in carrying it out (Call for Evidence, p14). If an employer opts not to use the 'no fault' procedure, and an employee subsequently claims unfair dismissal, it isn't yet clear whether their compensation will be assessed according to normal principles or will be capped at the 'no fault' level. The automatically unfair reasons (whistle blowing, trade union activities etc) will remain in place as valid unfair dismissal claims for employees of micro businesses (p41)
- unfair dismissal law is not on the list of top 10 regulations deterring businesses from taking on staff (Call for Evidence pp29-30). The top slot is owned by health & safety.