Government likely to abandon “no-fault” dismissal plans
On 5 March we blogged about rumours that the Government may have been dusting off a proposal by Conservative party donor Adrian Beecroft to allow “compensated no-fault dismissals”. This would allow an employer to dismiss an employee at any time without needing a valid reason. Although the proposal in the Beecroft Report applied to all employees, the Government intended that it should only apply to businesses with 10 employees or less (the so-called “micro-business”). Then on 30 March we blogged about the launch by BIS of a call for evidence in connection with this proposal.
In what is perhaps not a surprising move, the Guardian reported here yesterday that the Government may now quietly allow the “no-fault dismissal” proposal to be abandoned. The Guardian reports that the consultation is due to end on 8 June and that there so far has been very little evidence of the proposal being supported by business. This appears to reflect the conspicuous absence of unfair dismissal rules from the list of top ten deterrents to hiring according to employers which was included in the original consultation document. Perhaps more importantly from the Coalition Government’s perspective, the Business Secretary, Vince Cable, has also criticised the proposal in no uncertain terms by saying, “The last thing employees want is the dead hand of fear hanging over them about losing their jobs.”
The Prime Minister has indicated that he doesn’t plan on making any decisions on the “no-fault dismissal” proposal until the consultation closes on 8 June. If there is an announcement, we will blog about it – so watch this space. In the meantime, the final Beecroft Report itself has been published by the Government here and makes for interesting reading. A blog post on what the Report covers will follow shortly.
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