The end of unfair dismissal may not be as clear-cut as it seems

A warning has gone out to businesses that they shouldn’t get too excited at reported recommendations that have been made to the government about the scrapping of the law concerning unfair dismissal. The warning has come from the MD of the specialists in employment laws Bibby Consulting and Support, Michael Slade.

Slade has voiced his warning in response to the news that report commissioned by the PM and produced by Adrian Beecroft the venture capitalist has been leaked. This report has been said to give the recommendation that employers be given the entitlement to dismiss those workers who are underperforming without giving an explanation and the employees will also lose their rights to got to an employment tribunal to claim unfair dismissal.
The report is also said to suggest that as an alternative, there should be an equitable process that gives staff an opportunity to argue their case and ask their employer for a chance to improve. This is alleged to have been called a compensated no fault dismissal system. Employers are under no obligation to accept this however, and can give the employee a payment that is similar to a redundancy pay off.

Slade has said that his company would always advocate that employees be treated fairly by businesses but at the same time, they would always support an initiative that helped businesses to overcome the burden of costly and protracted processes, and especially in the economic climate we find ourselves in.

He added, however, that it is totally wrong to overstate how much businesses would benefit financially from the abolition of the unfair dismissal rules due to the reduced levels of compensation they would be paying out.

“There still remains a substantial amount of anti-discrimination legislation under the Equality Act 2010. So should employees feel their treatment was unfair and attribute it to a ‘protected characteristic’ under the Act, they would benefit from protection that could attract costly uncapped awards at employment tribunals.”

Slade adds: “The government has already agreed that from April 2012 the service period for an employee to be able to claim unfair dismissal will be extended to two years, which was a positive step seen last month.. Clearly we support the removal of any red tape to help our clients, but whether these leaked proposals come to fruition will remain to be seen.”