James Brokenshire has welcomed new Government proposals to speed the resolution of employment disputes saying they will give firms greater confidence to take on staff. The measures are contained in the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill which has just been introduced into the House of Commons.
The new legislation includes measures to improve the employment tribunal system by encouraging parties to come together to settle their dispute before an employment tribunal claim is lodged, through Acas early conciliation and greater use of Settlement Agreements. It will also make the determination of less complex disputes quicker and cheaper for employers and employees alike, through a new ‘Rapid Resolution’ scheme.
The Government has already doubled the period for an employee to qualify for claiming unfair dismissal from one to two years to improve protection for small employers. “Day one” rights – such as the right not to be discriminated against – has not be affected. These changes have been a priority for business groups who have long been calling for reform of the employment tribunal system to help firms create jobs. The Government is also looking at longer-term reform through the Employment Law Review which is looking at all aspects of employment law.
The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill will also simplify regulation by:
- Reducing inspection burdens on businesses of all sizes and increasing SME access to reliable, consistent advice on complying with regulations in areas such as trading standards, health and safety and environmental health.
- Ensuring powers to put a time-limit on new regulations via 'sunset clauses’. Departments should make a case to keep regulation - otherwise it will be scrapped.
- Repealing some unnecessary regulations.
Commenting James said:
“The Government is committed to reforming employment law, supporting business and encouraging growth. Improving the Employment Tribunal System and making it easier to resolve workplace disputes will give business more confidence to take on new staff and help encourage investment in the economy.”