News story

Next steps in employment law review

Government announces new areas that it will consider reforming as part of its review of employment red tape.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The ongoing review into employment law is an important part of the Government’s plans to deliver growth by breaking down barriers, boosting opportunities and creating the right conditions for businesses to start up and thrive.

New areas that will be reviewed include:

The Government will start reviewing these areas this year. It wants to ensure that the regulations are fit for purpose, and legislation will not necessarily be the route to implement any change if there is a case for reform.

Employment Relations Minister Edward Davey detailed the plans during a speech at the Institute of Economic Affairs.

Edward Davey said:

“The areas we are reviewing are priorities for employers. We want to make it easier for businesses to take on staff and grow.

“We will be looking carefully at the arguments for reform. Fairness for individuals will not be compromised - but where we can make legislation easier to understand, improve efficiency and reduce unnecessary bureaucracy we will.”

Employment Law Review

Since the Employment Law Review was announced last summer the Government has:

  • Consulted on a package of reforms to the employment tribunal system, aimed at encouraging earlier resolution of disputes in the workplace and reducing the number of tribunal cases (which are costly for employers, employees and Government).
  • Launched an Employer’s Charter that reassures employers about what they can already do to deal with staff issues in the workplace.
  • Launched a review of the compliance and enforcement regimes for employment law, with the aim of streamlining the system.
  • Removed the Default Retirement Age, thus removing significant paperwork obligations for employers and bringing wider benefits to the economy, making it easier for older people to continue working
  • Announced the proposed abolition of the Agricultural Wages Board and Agricultural Minimum Wage, pending consultation and the Parliamentary process.
  • Commissioned an independent review jointly with DWP (from David Frost and Dame Carol Black) of the system for managing sickness absence.
  • Repealed the planned extension of the right to request flexible working to parents of 17 year olds
  • Decided not to bring forward the dual discrimination provision in the Equality Act
    not extended the right to request time to train to companies with fewer than 250 staff.
  • The Government will also look for ways to simplify the burden of paperwork, particularly in the areas of flexible working and parental leave.

The Government believes that a flexible labour market is not simply about making life easy for employers.

It is also determined to help people who want to work. Next week it will launch a consultation on plans to extend the right to request flexible working to all employees and introduce a new system of shared parental leave from 2015 - to make it easier for parents to work whilst bringing up a family.

Published 11 May 2011