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Friday, 13 July 2012 10:37

Consultation On Collective Redundancies

Written by Innes Clark
Following a Call for Evidence at the end of last year, BIS have recently announced that they are now consulting on changing the rules surrounding collective redundancies. Collective redundancies occur when an employer makes 20 or more employees at a single establishment redundant within a period of 90 days or less. Currently, when an employer is faced with a collective redundancy situation, they must consult with either the trade unions or, if no union is recognised, employee representatives. They must also wait for at least 30 days after the start of the consultation before redundancies can take effect. This increases to 90 days where 100 or more redundancies are proposed. The employer is also required to notify BIS and a failure to do so is a criminal offence and can lead to the employer being fined up to 5,000. The consultation is looking at several issues, including improving guidance to employers and employees on the support available from the Government, and the introduction of a non-statutory Code of Practice. However, the most substantive change is the proposal to reduce the minimum period where over 100 redundancies are proposed from 90 days to either 30 or 45. This was one of the key issues raised by employers in the Call for Evidence, but these proposals are opposed by trade unions, who feel that the longer period is necessary for job protection. The full consultation can be found here if you wish to respond, the deadline for submission is 19…
Friday, 13 July 2012 10:36

Employment Tribunal Statistics 2011 - 2012

Written by Innes Clark
Every year the Tribunals Service publishes statistics on the number and nature of Employment Tribunal claims which have been raised. This year's statistics (covering the period from 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012) are now available, showing a significant fall (15%) in Employment Tribunal claims. During the 12 month period April 2011 to March 2012 the ET received 186,300 claims. Figures for previous years are as follows:- 2010-11 - 218,100 claims 2009-10 - 236,100 claims 2008-09 - 151,000 claims The Government are determined to reduce the number of Employment Tribunal claims and the steps they have taken such as increasing the qualifying period for raising a Tribunal claim from 1 to 2 years plus the future planned steps including Tribunal fees for Claimants, early ACAS conciliation and simplified settlement discussions/agreements are likely to result in a further drop in the number of claims going to the Tribunal over the coming years. How significant the drop is remains to be seen. Some further highlights arising out of the 2011/2012 statistics:- unfair dismissal claims down (although only very slightly - 46,300 claims compared to 47,900 last year) age discrimination claims, surprisingly, down significantly from 6,800 last year to 3,700 this year significant fall in sex discrimination claims - down from 18,300 to 10,800 Looking at the 46,300 unfair dismissal claims:- 24% were withdrawn (in many cases this will be due to a financial settlement being achieved albeit without ACAS) 42% were settled via ACAS 9%…
Friday, 13 July 2012 10:33

The Town That Never Retired

Written by Innes Clark
I saw a great programme last night on BBC1 presented by the Apprentice's Nick Hewer and Margaret Mountford. As Nick said to Margaret at one point in 10 years time there will be 12 million people working well into their 70s. With the state pension age set to continue to rise and with many people unable to afford to retire, the whole concept of this programme was to see what this might look like, to look at the prejudices and to look at the reality. To this end various pensioners in Preston (all past the age of 70, I think) were sent back into full time work at a construction site, a health centre, a restaurant, an estate agency and a chocolate factory. At the end of the programme, in true Apprentice style, the employers decided who they were going to retain for a second week. Some of the pensioners were sent back to retirement with the remainder given another week of work. So what did we learn? Performance was mixed some poor performers largely due to the effects of age including lack of agility/speed, lack of stamina and inability to learn new tasks (such as p.c. skills). However, there were also some excellent performers with two of the constructions site pensioners (a plasterer and a plumber) and two of the pensioners working in the restaurant, one as a waitress and one as a dishwasher, being the star performers. Most of the pensioners were very enthusiastic about working…
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