Sacking staff to become easier
New proposals to employment law are being considered which will make it easier for firms to sack their workers. The enterprise and regulatory reform bill, which is still being considered in the House of Commons, will give employers considerably more freedom and power to get rid of workers who they simply don’t want anymore. These workers can be offered cash payouts to leave voluntarily.
Current formal sacking procedures can take time, and businesses can incur costly legal fees in the process. The new “settlement agreements” can be offered to employees who may be facing misconduct or performance reviews. Rather than go through tribunal proceedings, the employees can accept a cash payout to vacate their employment. It is proposed that this will be beneficial for employer and employee alike. The employer is able to quickly and cheaply get rid of staff they no longer require, and the employee can leave with financial peace of mind and without tribunal blemishes on their work history.
Employees will be free to refuse any cash payouts. In such cases, the new proposals will also introduce a workplace arbitration procedure. Rather than go through costly employment tribunals, a less formal workplace approach will be implemented to handle employment disputes. It is hoped that this will resolve problems and settlements in a much speedier manner.
However, since it was first introduced in the Queen’s speech in May, the bill has faced tough criticisms. Rather than create happier employer and employee relationships, it is speculated that these measures will impact on job security and confidence in the workplace. Although voluntary, employees may feel pressured if they can accept a payout or face a tribunal. Similarly, it is anticipated that problem employees may hold out for cash sums knowing that employers are keen to avoid tribunals.
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