Government to relax employment rules for small firms

Business Secretary Vince Cable is to set out an overhaul of employment law today which could see a reduction in employment regulations for businesses which employ fewer than 10 people.

The Guardian reports the Government will announce a relaxation of employment rules for smaller firms, accepting a recommendation from the controversial Adrian Beecroft report. However, it suggests Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has blocked the report’s recommendation that employers be allowed to sack unproductive staff without explanation.

Other proposals may include a two-thirds cut in the consultation period for mass redundancies from 90 days to 30 days and the introduction of “protected conversations” so employers can discuss frankly with staff about poor performance without them being used in future job tribunal claims.

The Government will also recommend a “rapid resolution scheme” to allow straightforward job disputes to be settled within three months and the requirement for all claims to go to the conciliation service Acas before reaching employment tribunal

Cable will also confirm plans to increase the qualification period for making a claim for unfair dismissal from one to two years of employment from next April.

The Government says the changes will offer a £40m boost to employers.

According to the Financial Times, the CBI employers’ group wants an early review of the agency workers’ regulations, which give temps the same pay and conditions as permanent staff after 12 weeks.

The Institute of Directors is pressing .for a two-year delay of the phased introduction of auto-enrolment for pensions