Looking at the past…
When the coalition came into power they promised a bonfire for the red tape surrounding business… it has been more like a small campfire. This has been coupled with legislative/regulatory changes born out of Employment tribunal cases and judgments from the European Court of Justice. Below are a few of the highlights over the period;
Changes to TUPE Regulations
The promises of radical changes to the TUPE regulations to make them more simplistic and aid the transfer
of businesses did not transpire. The changes do not address the fundamental issues. This is a complex
piece of legislation and people are still unsure of when TUPE applies. Unfortunately this will continue to be defined through ET cases.
Family Friendly Policies
The introduction of Shared Parental Leave – an overcomplicated piece of legislation which is not going to encourage parents to share leave.
Change to length of service before submitting an ET claim
Increase of length of service required before taking a claim to an ET from 1 to 2 years. This has been seen as a welcome change for many business to enable them to manage poor performers within the company. However, it still allows for people to submit claims on the grounds of discrimination and relating to a statutory right. Employers therefore should always adhere to best practice and not cut corners in a process.
Introduction of ET fees
There has been a massive decrease in the number of claims coming through since the introduction of fees which
can be seen as both a positive and a negative. The positive is that it deters people with frivolous claims or those
that are unlikely to succeed. The negative being argued by many trade unions is that it allegedly doesn’t allow for justice for people when they have been treated badly by companies. However, the introduction of the Pre-Conciliation process before going to an ET has supported this, as it allows for companies and employees to come to a settlement at an early stage with minimum time and cost to either side. They have also used the opportunity to reduce the amount which can be awarded to be based on an employee’s wage. Whilst this is good and attention grabbing the average ET award is around £10K so it doesn’t necessarily save a company money.