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Government to reform employment law

Government to reform employment law

The Government is to carry out a "root and branch" review of employment laws.

Ministers said that several areas of legislation could be reformed, including laws relating to compensation for discrimination – due to concerns over the level of awards by employment tribunals. The current 90-day timescale for firms to consult over job losses will also be examined.

The review is aimed at boosting employment and making legislation simpler and more efficient. The Government stressed that any reforms would retain fairness for workers.

"Compensation levels for cases of discrimination are unlimited and employers worry that high awards may encourage people to take weak, speculative or vexatious cases in the hope of a large payout. This can lead to employers settling such cases before they reach a tribunal," said a report by the Business Department.

Employers were also said to be concerned that the current requirement that consultation over collective redundancy runs for a minimum period of 90 days was hindering their ability to restructure efficiently and retain a flexible workforce.

The Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment Regulations, which implement a European directive and protect employees' terms and conditions of employment when a business is transferred from one owner to another, will also be looked at after some business groups said they were "gold plated" and overly bureaucratic.