Cable's 'settlement agreements' are charter for bad employers
11 Jun 2012
Prospect has condemned the announcement today by Business Secretary Vince Cable that bosses will be able to offer workers a cash pay-off before a formal dispute arises and then be protected from this offer being cited at an employment tribunal.
Commenting on the new proposal to make it easier to get rid of underperforming staff as part of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill, Prospect General Secretary Designate Mike Clancy said: “While less harsh than Beecroft’s proposals for ‘compensated no-fault dismissal’, Cable’s proposal has the same purpose – to make it harder for employees to take a case to an employment tribunal if they feel they have been unfairly dismissed.
“A perfectly good system for negotiating compromise agreements already exists within the current ACAS code of practice. It would be wrong to simplify these basic standards, which should continue to apply to all employers, including small businesses.
“We don’t need a new charter for bad employers – an easy get-out clause for managers who are failing to manage properly. In fact, the evidence shows that unionised workplaces have lower dismissal rates and fewer employment tribunal cases. Union representatives play an important part in managing internal difficulties, with benefit to employers.
“Prospect believes it is the fundamental right of all workers to challenge an unfair dismissal in the employment tribunal.”
Prospect has also told Department for Business in its response to the consultation on ‘compensated no-fault dismissal’ that employees should have the right to claim unfair dismissal from day one of their employment. Currently, employees have to have worked for an employer for one year, and the new bill will extend this to two years.