No-fault dismissals

The controversial ‘compensated no fault’ dismissals (also known as ‘fire at will’) proposal is off the agenda after receiving much criticism.

Unfair dismissal – compensatory award cap

A consultation paper entitled ‘Ending the Employment Relationship’ has been published seeking views on the proposed cap and how it should be calculated. The consultation closes on 23 November 2012. Under current proposals the government would have very wide powers to lower the cap.

Settlement agreements

The government has made it clear that it is keen to encourage settlement of disputes rather than litigation. The ‘Ending of the Employment Relationship’ consultation is seeking views on settlement and how it can be encouraged. Current proposals include the production of an ACAS guidance and model letters and a ‘guideline tariff’ on settlement payments. Again consultation closes on 23 November 2012.

A review of TUPE 2006

BIS published ‘a Call for Evidence: Effectiveness of Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006’ in November 2011. The government’s response details the main points of view of the respondents. There will now be a period of policy design during which the government will consider:

  • Whether the ‘service provision change’ element of TUPE should be retained or repealed.
  • Whether a change of location of the workplace should amount to an economic technical or organisational (‘ETO’) reason entailing changes in the workforce.
  • Whether liability for employees should pass entirely to the transferee as now, or be held jointly and severally by transferee and transferor.
  • Whether employee liability information should be provided earlier than 14 days before transfer.

Review of the Employment Tribunal Rules of Procedure

Mr Justice Underhill has carried out a review of the ET Rules and has made a number of recommendations. Following his report a consultation paper entitled ‘Employment Tribunal Rules: Review by Mr Justice Underhill’ has been published. The paper seeks views on a number of issues including:

  • Should the present £20,000 cap on costs be removed?
  • Should pre-hearing reviews be combined with case management discussions?
  • Should presidential guidance be introduced to manage the expectation of the parties?

The consultation closes on 23 November 2012. We will keep you posted.