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back to article Gov unveils plans to reduce employment tribunal claims

The government will remove the right of employees of one year standing to make unfair dismissal claims, will allow more Employment Tribunals to sit with a single judge and could ask claimants to pay to make a claim, it has said. Plans to reform the way that employees can make claims will also force all claims into arbitration …

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Fix the symptom

not the disease.

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Flame

Great idea

They could reduce crime figures in the same way. Only people over, say 30, are allowed to report a crime and it costs them £1000 each time.

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Two years?

Christ, they must think we're members of a fixed term parliament!

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Where is Fred Kite when you need him?

The employer groups bellyache about everything ... claiming all sorts of hardships. In suggesting these changes the government is simply pandering to all their friends in business.

When employees are treated fairly, they usually respond in kind. I was a production manager many years ago and I made sure that my staff were well cared for. The women who suffered spousal abuse didn't have to come in with their black eyes and other bruises and I made sure their pay wasn't docked. Sick child? No problem, get them to the doctor and then get into work - no loss of pay.

When I had an urgent production order and needed people to work way into the night, they were always there to help.

This proposed two-year period is way too long; 3 months probation followed by full entitlements is the proper way to go. The answer is to sue the employer and see if they like the expense of court.

Arbitration does have the benefit of refining a dispute but shouldn't be the place where all matters reach resolution.

If other countries can make Tribunals work the government should be asking why can't the British.

It is these types of decisions make the Fred Kites** of the union movements necessary.

** Peter Sellers played an old died in the wool union shop steward in the 1959 movie entitled "I'm All Right, Jack".

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Other countries don't make it work

The French system shows how things can become broken and that shows what happens when you protect workers fully at the expense of the employers. Most countries have far more harsh conditions and the worker just has to HTFU and find a job elsewhere. We are protecting our workforce against its own incompetence, laziness and greed and thereby destroying our competitiveness against other companies. The market will kill off bad employers/companies assuming the staff don't do it first.

Yes there will be employers to take the Michael, but equally there will always be shirkers and good for nothings who are looking for a free ride - balance is what is needed. Under Labour the balance resulted in a destroyed economy where companies would not hire die to the difficulty of runing an efficient business.

When we have near full employment, we can worry about the problems of the oppressed worker, as workers might actually be in short supply. The UK is not in that position. Companies are NOT going to employ people if a change in the market results in the company being bankrupt due to not being able to release staff to protect the majority, or if we have to spend tens of thousands defending frivolous claims - of which there are many.

Yes, workers should have protection, but not to the extent that their colleagues are put out of a job due to the company folding and not to the extent that the company is unwilling to employ due to the same problems in removing non-performing staff.

When you have s table job in a stable company, then that is the time to seek additional rights.

Looking for more for yourself when your company is on its knees and being crippled by alleged 'rights' is just plain stupid.

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What an absolute load of bulls**t!!

Laying people off when times are hard or employing people in the first place has absolutely nothing to do with being protected from employers abusing their power.

Keeping peoples rights to prevent them being taken advantage of by unscrupulous employers does not allow ANYONE to be a 'layabout' or 'shirker' as you suggest. I have also not heard of any well managed company going to the wall because of an employment tribunal payout.

What you are suggesting is that people should just put up with a company being able to treat them how they like because 'theres loads of people unemployed'.

You sir, are the worst sort of corporate lickspittle, or possibly, you are an employer yourself?

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@Graham25

'When we have near full employment, we can worry about the problems of the oppressed worker.'

Why not go one step further and implement slavery? You know, just until the economy gets better... Then we can downgrade that to serfdom at some unspecified point in the future and the poor buggers will be grateful.

I notice that you use the French as your example and not the Germans who also have much greater rights than UK worker, far better conditions and whose ecomomy is frankly dumping all over ours from a great height (and that's even while it is pretty much single-handedly propping up the Euro).

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shirkers and good for nothings who are looking for a free ride

you there leave senior management alone!

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Megaphone

So then ?

This is not about companies which take advantage of people - it affects good companies just as much, possibly even worse.

When you employ someone in a small company and find they are a shirker and a layabout how do you keep your company alive for the dozen or so others to continue in employment ? You cannot as the shirkers take you to a tribunal, lie through their teeth, you spend a fortune defending the company and even when you win, you have lost a fortune. Suddenly you don;t have the money to keep the business going.

Everyone gets made redundant and nobody gets paid.

Thats what happens in small companies. The balance is too far in favour of the employee in my opinion. France is an extreme case, I will agree - thats why nobody recruits graduates much there anymore.

An inconvenient truth for all the liberals out there. I was an employer but like many others before and after me, will not employ anyone else again - too many freeloaders interested in doing as little as possible for as many rights as they can grab. Not a lickspittle at all , just someone who no longer wishes to subsidise the likes of you who believes that workers rights exceed the rights of the owners who create small companies which become the large employers of tomorrow.

If the workers don;t like it they can always invest their own money and start their own business and see how quickly their tune changes when they find the staff ripping them off.

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Re: So Then?

If you have someone who isn't doing their job its quite easy to dismiss them through the proper procedures. I can only assume you either can't manage people properly, or you didn't actually have valid reasons for disciplining or removing this particular person in the first place.

And you really have to get over this excuse of them making everyone else lose their job because it costs so much. That really is the last resort of management bullying/blackmail to prevent someone taking them to task for their misdeeds.

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Unhappy

Unfair dismissal is unfair dismissal

regardless of how long you have worked there.

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Conservatisim at its best?

"A critical element of the government's growth strategy is to create the conditions which allow businesses, especially smaller businesses, to flourish and expand, by reducing regulation and maintaining a flexible and dynamic labour market," said Cameron.

In other words "We are going to make it easier for you to fuck your work force about, to suit your own needs"

Small businesses seem to have odd ways of doing things because they are usually run by one or two individuals whose character traits lead them to set-up on their own in the first place. Once their businesses are established and growing those character traits are more often than not, not great for dealing with their own staff.

In the past I have seen staff side lined just because the boss is in a bad mood. They either leave or are pushed.

2 years is a long time in today's job market...

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sounds about right

reduce regulation on employers

reduce workers rights

tories reveal their true colours, they want to see kids up chimneys every bit as much as thatch did.

Britains economy will be saved by turning the whole country into an 18 century industrial theme park.

good grief

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Fines for companies..

It is not companies that breach employee rights, it's people, fine the HR directors and managers personally for breaching employment law, not the company as a whole. Individuals discriminate, or make discriminatory decisions, so fine them, and don't allow them to insure it away.

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Directors and managers, like all employees, act on behalf of the company

So, unless the director or manager is doing something against company rules (the term is that the company must 'take reasonable steps' to stop them from acting like dicks ) then their actions are the company's actions.

You could argue that the directory/manager should be fined in addition to the company (this seems to me like it is probably a good idea), but the company should also be fined, as encouragement for them to get their bosses to behave in the future.

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Stop

Self serving legislation

The government is also an employer. Would the fact that it wants to sack a shed load of staff have anything to do with introducing legislation to make unfair dismissals easier?

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Anonymous Coward

and it starts again

the condems hare dragging us back to the 80's!

And on one would listen.

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At least it's progress

>the condems hare dragging us back to the 80's!

Seems reasonable. Labour dragged us back to the 70s. At least we're moving forward.

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Better yet...

"Employees will no longer have the right to claim unfair dismissal after working for one year. They will only have that right after working for two years under the plans. The government said that it hoped to eliminate up to 4,700 claims through this measure."

If employees no longer have the right to claim unfair dismissal unless they have worked there 1000 years, you can eliminate all the claims through the measure. Trebles all round!

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Flame

Anyone remember voting for this?

Given that employees typically move on after 2 years, this has killed the right to claim unfair dismissal for most people. Throw in a fee and we're completely fucked.

(I'm not typical, mind, I've been code monkeying here a dashed long time.)

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Happy

As part of the job creation scheme

It appears that by pushing all claims into arbitration before the tribunal the Govt will create lots of jobs at ACAS to manage these claims and to do an assessment. Who said the condems don't know how to create jobs

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NRT

"will remove the right of employees"

If it is a 'Right' how can it be removed?

It would appear that we have a temporary license, until a politician, changes it's mind.

In despair, Nick.

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Anonymous Coward

So...

...the 'big' society is designed for *small* people?

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Welcome

Employment regulations

Unfair dismissal claims are only ever brought by employees who see no other way out: by that time their health has usually begun to fail and in many cases they will never work again. Trades unions always advise against them because unless the complainant has obviously been bullied, victimised and had his/her health put at risk, the employer is most likely to win, particularly with the sheaves of reports written by HR officials to make the employer look good.

Admittedly, it's fairly unlikely that the products of daddy's public-school fee payments have any idea of that, and that's the oligarchy that's running the UK just now.

Any aliens could be expected to rule the UK better than the shower of career politicians we have just now: so I'd like to welcome them heartily. Please hurry up and take over.

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Anonymous Coward

Speaking as I do ...

... from having first hand experience of being "in dispute" with my employer (over work induced stress and associated ill health), I really think this is a bad move. As others have said, fix the underlying problem, don't just make it harder for people who have genuine grievances to seek redress.

I was lucky to have been paying union dues for years - even though it mostly seemed like a waste of money. My union provided someone who could provide much needed support, and when it came to it, defend me from an employer who was all out to persuade me that it was all my fault and I should just quit. This wasn't a case of shirking, or a misunderstanding. This was a case of management running round like headless chickens and just ignoring all the warning signs even when put in front of their noses. Staff were being shed, and the ones left were being expected to pick up the work, work requests were often contradictory or incomplete, and management refused to assist when it was pointed out that some tasks could not be completed without their input (ie to state what their objectives were). The so called HR manager was completely useless and kept failing to keep appointments. When I did get chance to sit down to try and discuss the issues (after about 6 months of cancelled meetings), she couldn't even be bothered to get my letter from the file and read what they were !

When I had problems, I can assure you that unless you've been there then you really cannot imagine the effect it has. Shocked Jock is quite right that in many cases, claims are only brought by people who cannot see any other way to deal with it - and the ill health can last for many years. It's over 5 years since I settled with my previous employer, and the effects are still not fully gone. I expect many people are already thinking I should just "pull myself together and get on", well I used to think that about people with depression as well - I don't now.

I was really lucky. My union rep took great pride in never having had to take a case to a tribunal, but even he admitted that he'd never met such a slippery manager to deal with. When it became clear that the company wanted me gone (their loss as far as I'm concerned), he negotiated a settlement. Also, I still had contact with the previous owner of the business (who'd been happy to snap me up a few years earlier), and he got me another job locally though his contacts.

While all this was going on, other people "disappeared" from the office, and it was forbidden to discuss the matter. Obviously, such instructions don't prevent discussion, so we had a fairly good idea what was going on. Suffice it to say, the only thing tempering the actions of management was the threat of appearing before a tribunal if they took it too far - but they were still treating people like something you'd try to avoid stepping in.

The idea of mandating some form of arbitration is a good idea. Making all employments effectively have a two year probationary period is not.

I note the comments above about never employing anyone again because of the problem of getting rid of shirkers. Quite frankly, with that attitude, please stay out of employment. There really is no problem getting rid of an employee that consistently fails to perform - no problem whatsoever. If you think there is, and that these proposals will help, then you are an idiot who should have asked advice from someone with a clue about employment law. All it requires is that you have a disciplinary procedure that is fair, and that you follow it - do that AND act fairly and you'd have no problem. What these rules (and the tribunal) are there for are the employers who, bluntly, are taking the p*ss and treat employees as some sort of commodity that you can buy and throw away as you wish, and abuse in between. Sadly there are too many of them. If you can't work out that someone is unsuitable in a year, I think that says more about the employer than anyone else.

PS - Under it's previous management my old employer did go to a tribunal, but as far as I know only once. An unsuccessful applicant for the finance department claimed he'd been rejected on grounds of gender. He argued he was clearly the most qualified candidate, and obviously the interview panel (women) rejected him for being male. His sole supporting argument in support of being the most qualified candidate was rejected in a very short hearing - "the others were all women". Yes the directors were unhappy about the cost, but they accepted it as a hazard of being in business and didn't consider it to be something to be got rid of.

I think arbitration might well have weeded that one out !

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Anonymous Coward

Yeah right

Only by people who see no other way out. Yeah right, I've seen a fair few 'serial tribunalists' over the last years. We had nothing to worry about but it did take away so much from our time.

Just look around you in society there is such a large group of people who are never at fault in their opinion it is always someone else. One could even say delusional. Just look at the xfactor auditions, you know the thousands people laugh at, and yep they take jobs as well. Do you really think they have any more sense?

Or I never forgot that business analyst bloke. Very clever, very smart, but within three months he became more worried regarding his rights instead of doing his job. All day he spend coming up with far out reasons why he shouldn't have to do that, and how he we needs to write to him. One day he had a meeting with me, was about to put him on a new client to give it another shot and he brought a lawyer with him as he anticipated, wrongly, me giving him a dress down.

There are some real idiots out there with severe mental issues. I so welcome this change.

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