Government supported by business groups over consultancy changes

Business groups welcomed the bold moves made by the Government to make shorten consultancy procedures. Employers concurred that the change could greatly benefit both businesses and workers as it would cut consultation period from 90 days to just 45 days. This move will represent a strong interest compromise between parties.

However, Ministers had a different view on the matter because they saw the changes as something that would affect the vital breathing space that separates the business and the workers. Yesterday, the Government took the initiative to publicise the changes that the 90-day requirement as the consultancy period be reduced to 45 days. In addition, the Government revealed that talks have begun as regards the exclusion of fixed-term contracts drawn from collective redundancy agreements upon reaching maturity.

When Employment Relations Minister Jo Swinson was quizzed about this matter, he explained that the whole process is often concluded within the provided period – 90 days – which is the minimum period as stated in the statutes. Moreover, he expressed his take on the changes believing that the period provided was too long and that the chances of unnecessary delays for restructuring would be higher.

The minister added that those individuals who are affected by this might encounter difficulties in finding new jobs. He further stated how these changes would balance the interests of employees to decide on their future in a shorter period as well as employers’ authoritativeness to make the necessary changes to keep the business on its toes.

The director for employment and skill of CBI, Neil Carberry, also expressed his delight upon hearing the announcements yesterday. He highlighted the longing of the CBI for the reformation of the rules contained in the collective redundancy agreement rules and how happy they were when they heard that such changes have been addressed by the Government.