The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill is one of the government’s flagship pieces of legislation. It’s designed to cut the cost of doing business – particularly all that “red tape” we hear so much about – and also help create jobs. The Bill includes significant changes to the employment tribunal system.
Since the Bill has just had its second Reading as it winds its way through the usual Parliamentary channels, it’s worth employers taking a quick look. We have to emphasise that this isn’t final legislation and there’s plenty of bargaining yet to be done on these contentious issues, so much can change between now and the eventual shape of the law.
That said, here are the highlights of the plans in our view:
The name change isn’t just window-dressing, though. It does indeed sound more pleasant, but “Settlement Agreement” also better represents the true purpose of the process: namely, to facilitate more open conversations between the aggrieved parties. There are also structural differences. Under a settlement agreement process, unlike a compromise agreement, a formal dispute does not have to exist in order for negotiations to begin. We expect to see more details on settlement agreements later in the year.
The Government insists that settlement agreements won’t compromise ‘no-fault dismissals’ as proposed earlier.
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