As I predicted in my blog in November last year the much trumpeted proposals to reduce the burdens on business are a pretty poor lot. I know it’s difficult to unpick existing laws given the vested interests involved, it would have been nice if at least something radical was suggested.
In the absence of this, I return to my suggestion last year that unfair dismissal rules should be abolished. Currently the remedy for unfair dismissal is purely financial. If both sides could work out what these were worth from the outset, then the whole process would be much faster and we could all get on with our lives. Currently in order for this financial award to be made employers are disrupted by the “infuriating” claims of disgruntled employees which result in endless meetings with lawyers who demand more information and witness statements to fight the case. And employees are constantly reminded of an unpleasant experience by the “dismissive” responses of employers which only serve to heighten (or even create) their sense of injustice and prevent them from moving on to the next phase of their life.
The only people who seem to gain from this whole system are the representatives who charge large fees for the conduct of such cases.
In addition Judges have to decide whether something is fair, which although in my experience they do this very well they and the courts in general are much better suited to deciding whether something is lawful.
So why not repeal this piece of legislation and increase the statutory notice periods to maybe 3 or 6 months, so that employers and employees know where they stand from the beginning. I know I’m potentially arguing for a change which could drastically reduce my and other consultants income (not to mention all those hard pressed solicitors), but I for one would rather help my clients get the best from their employees than spend fruitless days examining the entrails of a failed employment relationship.