The Government is planning to tighten up employment legislation to make it more employer friendly. The Prime Minister, David Cameron, plans to implement a new "Employer's Charter" with the aim of making life easier for employers and to encourage growth within the private sector.
There will be a consultation to consider what should change; however, so far the Prime Minister has suggested the following:
- There should be an increase in the normal qualifying period for unfair dismissal protection from one year to two years
- There could be an end to Employment Tribunal claims being lodged for free. Claimants will have to pay a small deposit to file their claim. This will be refundable if the Claimant wins their case.
- There should be a reduction in the period for which small businesses have to pay Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). At present SSP is paid at £79.15 per week and can be paid to employees for up to 28 weeks.
The plans to make Claimants pay a fee to lodge an ET1 may serve as a deterrent to spurious claims being lodged and could limit the practice of employers choosing to pay settlements to Claimants who have no chance of winning, just because it is cheaper to pay out than defend the claim. However, it seems likely that there will be a lot of opposition to the Government's proposal in this respect.