Find a service

T. 0114 276 5555

Employment Review News

Share this page:

The Government has announced a further review of employment law to cover three new areas, as part of its strategy to simplify legislation, improve efficiency and reduce business red tape.

The three areas under review are:

  • Compensation for unlawful discrimination as opposed to unfair dismissal
  • The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE)
  • The duty of employers to consult over collective redundancies

Many people believe that high awards at employment tribunals in discrimination claims may be encouraging litigation.

Compensation for unlawful discrimination is currently unlimited and there is concern that high awards may encourage people to take weak, speculative or vexatious cases in the hope of a settlement - as employers are aware that they cannot recover costs even if they win so that most cases are settled.

Clearly, it appears that the Government may propose some sort of ceiling on discrimination compensation awards – although there is likely to be a question mark over how far that would be permissible under EU equality legislation.

The second area the Government is looking critically at is TUPE – the legislation that protects employees when the business in which they work is transferred to a new owner. Some business groups believe that the rules under TUPE are overly bureaucratic and ‘gold-plated’ – i.e. extending beyond the requirements of EU law.

The third issue now under review is the legislation requiring consultation over collective redundancies, set out in sections 188–192 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.

The Government considers that the current rules may be hindering employers’ ability to restructure efficiently.

Again, however, there is EU legislation underpinning the law so the Government’s room for manoeuvre is limited. It remains to be seen what scope there may be under the EU Collective Redundancies Directive to introduce greater flexibility into the current redundancy consultation obligations.

Paul Grindley, Head of Employment Law at Keeble Hawson LLP commented:

“When The Government looks at these issues with a view to possible reform this year they have commented that “legislation will not necessarily be the route to implement any change if there is a case for reform". So it’s too early to say with any certainty that there will be any significant changes at all in the near future.”

Share this page:

Get in Touch