Businesses say current employment laws are difficult to cope with and put them off taking on staff. This slows the growth of businesses and the economy.
Simpler, more flexible employment laws will make it easier for companies to hire and manage staff, while protecting workers’ basic rights. This should encourage employers to create new jobs, supporting enterprise and growth.
To make the labour market more flexible, efficient and fair the government is:
- reviewing employment laws
- introducing more flexible working practices for parents and older workers
- setting and enforcing National Minimum Wage rates to protect workers from exploitation and businesses from unfair competition
- making it easier for businesses to employ people and for employees to balance work and family commitments
- providing better guidance on employment law
- enforcing standards in employment agencies and employment businesses and recruitment agencies to better protect workers
- researching the labour market to produce data on employment relations, the labour market and equality at work
We agreed to review employment law in May 2010 as part of the Coalition Agreement.
The Red Tape Challenge to reduce regulations launched in April 2011 and includes a review of employment law.
- extended the time you need to be employed to be able to claim for unfair dismissal from 1 to 2 years
- introduced the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill which will make changes to the employment tribunal system, including ensuring all employment tribunal claims go to Acas and introducing a simpler process
- removed the compulsory retirement age, making it easier for older people to carry on working
- launched a pilot scheme encouraging the use of mediation to resolve disputes
- reviewed how employment rights are enforced
Who we are consulting
We’ve carried out consultations on:
- resolving workplace disputes more quickly without having to go to an employment tribunal
- changing the rules on large-scale redundancies so that employers can restructure more effectively while also carrying out good quality consultations
- changing the rules on ending the employment relationship, the use of settlement agreements and changes to the compensation limit in unfair dismissal cases
- changing employment tribunal rules to make them more flexible and effective and to get better value for the taxpayer
We’ve carried out an impact assessment on the benefits of resolving workplace disputes. We estimate these changes will save businesses £40 million a year.