I’ve posted more than one blog objecting to Vince Cable's assertions that economic growth is being hampered by employees' rights.
I'm not alone in worrying where Vince Cable's employment reforms are headed. In this month's edition of the Employment Law Journal, Richard Keynon and Angus Ackroyd took a close look at the proposed employment rights reforms.
To summarise, I've included a few items from Keynon and Ackroyd’s list of 'Vince Cable's New Year's resolutions':
"Introduce a system of protected conversations to allow employees to raise issues with employers free from worry that this will be later used in tribunal proceedings".
(He wants to gag employees).
"Introduce a 'rapid resolution' scheme for simple tribunal claims, which would involve an independent legal expert reaching a decision on written evidence".
(He wants to dispose of the Judge in certain cases).
"Introduce fees to lodge a tribunal claim and to progress it to hearing".
(He wants to make employment litigation as expensive as possible for the employee).
"Increase the minimum qualification period for an unfair dismissal claim from one year to two".
(If employers want to bully, harass you and fire you unfairly, Vince Cable would like to double the time in which they're allowed to do it).
Move to a simpler, quicker and clearer dismissal process…without getting tangled up in red tape and bureaucracy.
(He wants to make it easier for firms to sack staff, regardless of length of service).
Keynon and Ackroyd conclude by quoting Vince Cable’s excuse for such reform: "First and foremost we want to reduce the number of tribunals happening in any one year – because we believe the only winners from that are the lawyers".
On the contrary, under Cable's plan employers and lawyers win. After all, employees will be in need of legal assistance to find out if they have any redress and, with such wide scale reform, only the lawyers will know if they have.
I’m left hoping that, like the majority of New Year’s Resolutions, Vince Cable’s motivation for change has evaporated by mid-March.
PS: My exciting book launch/anti-workplace bullying event details will follow within the next few days! I'll keep you posted.