Government to make it easier to sack workers

THE GOVERNMENT will today launch its employment law reforms, with changes designed to make it simpler and less costly for employers to dismiss workers.

Measures are expected to include an extension of settlement agreements, where an employee accepts a payment for leaving the company, in an attempt to reduce the number of costly employment tribunals. Time limits on unfair dismissal claims and a reduction in the time allocated to redundancy consultations are also expected.

However business secretary Vince Cable has repeatedly ruled out changing the law to allow no-fault dismissals, a recommendation of the government-sponsored Beecroft report.

Jon Wastnage of the British Chambers of Commerce welcomed the proposals but said the coalition could still do more for businesses: “We’d like the government to drop proposals for shared parental leave and the extension of the right to request flexible workings. We don’t think they’re particularly workable proposals.”

He also said that plans to introduce fees for employment tribunals would not work because numerous exemptions mean fewer than half of cases will be affected by the rule change.