New plans for more efficient workplace dispute resolution
By Daniel Hunter
Plans for greater business flexibility and quicker resolution for workplace disputes are to be announced later today (Monday) by the Business Secretary, Vince Cable.
In his opening speech at the second reading of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill, the Business Secretary will set out the Government’s plans to introduce a measure to boost business confidence and ease the handling of workplace disputes through facilitating the use of settlement agreements between employers and employees.
Under these measures, employers will be able to offer settlement agreements before a formal dispute arises and will be legally protected from this offer being used as evidence in an unfair dismissal tribunal case. Employees will also continue to enjoy full protection of their employment rights, as they can choose to reject the offer of a settlement agreement and proceed to a tribunal. Evidence from the private sector shows that a sensible compromise can be reached in the majority of cases.
“This Bill is an important part of this Government’s plan for long-term growth: fostering enterprise, supporting business and creating jobs," Business Secretary Vince Cable said.
“Settlement agreements are smart, fair and pro-business reforms which deliver results for employees and employers. It empowers employers by enabling them to keep their workforce flexible and encouraging alternative ways of solving workplace problems rather than resorting to a tribunal. But crucially it does so in a way that keeps the necessary protections for employees in place.
“Our proposed measures and guidance will achieve this objective. Making this approach simple to use will encourage employers to take on staff in the knowledge this there is an effective mechanism for dealing with serious problems if they occur.
“We have spent time ensuring we have got this measure right and I truly believe this a smart confidence boosting measure for business.”
Employment Relations Minister Norman Lamb said:
“There... continued on page two >