Business restructuring and transfers

Collective Redundancy Consultation Obligations to be Relaxed

By Madeleine Jephcott

JobLossII.jpgThe Government is proposing to reduce the UK's 90-day minimum consultation period for large-scale redundancies.

While the rules governing collective redundancy consultation have remained relatively unchanged since they were introduced in the mid-1970s, the same cannot be said for the UK labour market. In an increasingly global and competitive market, the Government sees the existing redundancy consultation scheme as a barrier to competitiveness, flexibility and growth.

As a result, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has published a consultation document suggesting some changes to the legislation. (This follows an earlier call for evidence on the operation of the rules, which closed in January this year.) The main proposals are:

  • reducing the 90-day minimum consultation period for large-scale redundancies; and
  • introducing a new Code of Practice to address a number of key issues affecting redundancy consultations.

Reducing the Consultation Period

Currently, employers must consult with trade unions or employee representatives for a minimum of 30 days before the first redundancy dismissal takes effect when proposing to dismiss between 20-99 employees, and for a minimum of 90 days when proposing to dismiss 100 or more. The EU Collective Redundancies Directive does not prescribe minimum consultation periods and the Government regards the time periods in the UK legislation as unacceptable "gold plating".

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What's New in Employment Law This April and Beyond?

By Richard Lister

BarometerII.jpgIt is official policy in the UK for most changes to employment legislation to take effect in either April or October each year. This article summarises both the reforms coming into force this month and the major Government proposals for the future currently stacked up in the pipeline.

The most noteworthy changes being implemented in April 2012 are as follows:

Unfair Dismissal Qualifying Period

In a highly controversial reform that was confirmed by the Government last October, the period of employment before an employee qualifies for the right to claim unfair dismissal has increased from one to two years. This applies only to employees who start a new job on or after April 6, 2012: employees already in employment on that date retain the one-year qualifying period.

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Major Employment Law Shake-up Unveiled

By Richard Lister

Changes SignII.jpgThe UK Government has announced wide-ranging plans for what it claims to be "the most radical reform to the employment law system for decades". The proposals were set out by the Secretary of State for Business, Dr Vince Cable, in a speech to the EEF manufacturers' organization. Some of the measures had been previously floated but others were novel, including:

  • amending the UK's whistleblowing legislation so that complaints by employees about a breach of their own employment contract will no longer constitute a protected disclosure;
  • seeking views on introducing compensated no-fault dismissals for "micro employers" with fewer than ten employees;
  • simplifying and "slimming down" the processes required to carry out a fair dismissal, including potentially working with the conciliation service Acas to change their Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures;
  • consolidating the myriad regulations relating to the national minimum wage; and
  • streamlining the current regulatory regime for the recruitment sector.
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Government Signals New Employment Law Reforms

By Richard Lister

Parliament & Big BenThe UK's Coalition Government has announced that it will be extending its review of employment law to cover three new areas. This forms part of a broader strategy to simplify legislation, improve efficiency and reduce business red tape. The latest announcement follows a recent major consultation on proposals to reform employment tribunal and resolution of workplace disputes, including extending the qualifying period for claiming unfair dismissal from one year to two years.

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Is it Lawful to Dismiss a Chief Accountant When Changing the Owner of the Company Assets?

In its recent ruling of May 27, 2010, the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation stipulated that it is lawful to dismiss the chief accountant in case the owner of the company assets is changed.

This ruling has been issued by the Constitutional Court in view of consideration of Mrs. Bachalova's appeal regarding violation of her constitutional rights by part 1 of article 75 and paragraph 4 of part 1 of article 81of the Russian Labor Code.

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The Fair Work Act - Australia's New 'Forward with Fairness' Workplace Legislation

On July 1 2009, the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) came into effect, replacing the Workplace Relations Act 1996 (Cth). The Act significantly changed the industrial relations landscape in Australia.

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