business law changes will affect unfair dismissal

Vince Cable has unveiled plans for changes in business law making it easier for bosses to sack staff. The Business Secretary is backing proposals which will allow employers to sack groups of workers with 30 days’ notice.

Sacked staff will be unable to claim unfair dismissal until they have been in a job for two years. He is proposing that businesses planning collective redundancies need only give staff 45 or 30 days notice, rather than the current 90 days. He claims that the reforms will make the British labour market “fit for the 21st century”.

Unions have accused the Government of an assault on workers’ rights. The new business law proposed will force individuals seeking unfair dismissal to go to conciliation service Acas before taking the case to an employment tribunal. Cable is also considering a ban on workers using private conversations with bosses about their performance in tribunal cases.

A Department for Business spokesman said: “This is the most radical shake-up of the employment law system in decades. This package will make it easier for businesses when taking on, managing and letting go of staff, while also being fair to workers.”

GMB general secretary Paul Kenny said “These changes will make it harder for hundreds of thousands of workers to bring cases of victimisation, unfairness and bullying at work. This will just sweep abuse under the carpet”.

Cable’s announcement of changes in business law has come as David Cameron boasted he was leading a “Dyno-Rod” government, which unblocked obstacles to growth. In a private meeting with ministers, the Prime Minister said the economy was in a “very difficult situation” and hinted that growth and jobless figures are likely to make grim reading for the Government.

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