Posted by admin | Posted in Employment, holidays, legal | Posted on 03-07-2012
Tags: businesses, employment, Redundancy
It appears that the government is split in two over employment reforms being proposed by Adrian Beecroft. Therefore it is uncertain what measures will come into force and if they will have been watered down to appeal to both Conservatives and Liberal Democrats.
While it is believed that David Cameron is ready to back the venture capitalist’s reforms, which would make it easier for companies to dismiss under-performing staff, and his Conservative back benches will also overwhelmingly be in support, the business secretary Vince Cable has reacted angrily to the proposals, saying that he was opposed to the “ideological zealots who want to encourage British firms to fire at will”. He said it was nonsense to suggest that businesses would start to employ more people and the economy would begin to grow if labour rights were stripped down to the bare minimum.
Even before news of Cable’s damning verdict the Beecroft report was highly controversial. One of the main recommendations, which is also one of the most contentious, is the “compulsory no fault dismissal” whereby companies would be able to sack workers without explanation by offering a redundancy payment. It also proposes delaying laws forcing companies to provide pensions for their workers and calls for an end to the spread of flexible working, with a new voluntary code of conduct rather than new laws. Beecroft will also extend to large firms, “collective redundancies”, where over 100 workers are dismissed with only 30 days notice. At the present time larger firms have to pay an additional 60 days worth of wages.
Conservatives blame the last Labour government for the current situation, saying that the laws brought in under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown have stifled business and “exacerbated the national problem of high unemployment”, however, they will not find it easy to get these proposals into law and Vince Cable’s intervention looks certain to increase tensions between the two coalition partners.
Should laws be brought in to make it easier for firms to dismiss under-performing members of staff and, if so will such moves help the economy? Trade unions and others opposed to the measures, say that while the proposals would be unfair, they would not have the effect on the economy that those in support of the report are claiming. Who is right? Tell us what you think.