Employment law reform: consultation response and Employment Tribunal review

On 23 November, the Government published its response to the consultation on ‘Resolving workplace disputes’. The Equality and Diversity Forum responded to the consultation in April 2011.

The Government’s response to the consultation confirms the proposals it intends to take forward, such as extending the qualifying period for unfair dismissal, and announces the intention to go further by undertaking a Fundamental Review of the current Rules of Procedure for Employment Tribunal.

The consultation was launched by the Department for Business, Skills & Innovation (BIS) and the Ministry of Justice’s Tribunals Service on 27 January and closed on 20 April 2011. It was launched alongside an Employer’s Charter that ‘aims to dispel many of the myths about what an employer can and can’t do in managing their staff reasonably, fairly and lawfully, providing clarity for employers on what steps they can take when handling workplace issues with staff. It covers a wide range of employment law scenarios’.

The consultation asked for views on measures to:

  • achieve more early resolution of workplace disputes so that parties can resolve their own problems, in a way that is fair and equitable for both sides, without having to go to an employment tribunal;
  • ensure that, where parties do need to come to an employment tribunal, the process is as swift, user-friendly and effective as possible; and
  • help businesses and social enterprises feel more confident about hiring people.

Click here for speech by Business Secretary Vince Cable, given on 23 November 2011, outlining legislative changes to the employment law framework

Click here for Equality and Diversity Forum and other response to the consultation

Click here for piece by Sarah Veale, Head of the Equality and Employment Rights Department at the TUC arguing that ‘Employment Rights are not bad for business’