Writing on New Left Project, David Renton, author of Struck Out: Why Employment Tribunals Fail Workers and What Can be Done, provides a superb analysis of the government commissioned Beecroft Report, which proposed to allow employers to sack workers without reason:
The document reads most of all like a rich financiers’ dream of a Bolshevik revolution in reverse. Imagine: if, by waving a magic wand, the Coalition could undo every employment law reform of the past 40 years, what would be left?
Renton argues that despite media hype that the Beecroft recommendations have been rejected by the government, they are proposing reforms which actually go further:
Take ‘compensated no fault dismissals’ (CNFD). This is the Coalition’s proposal to remove most workers in companies of fewer than ten employees from the unfair dismissal system, and to renegotiate the present redundancy system down, from the present reality where workers with long service can be entitled to anything up to six months’ wages on dismissal, replacing it with a new cap. The cap is still to be determined (and subject to consultation) but could possibly be as low as four or six weeks’ wages.
Beecroft’s proposal for CNFD, to give all workers dismissed for a reason other than misconduct the present redundancy payments, but prohibit them from taking their case further, though nasty enough (this would prevent workers bringing claims for an unwanted retirement or an unfair capability dismissal), is actually considerably milder than the scheme on which a Lib Dem Business Secretary has since been consulting.
Visit New Left Project to read the article in full.
Why Employment Tribunals Fail Workers and What Can be Done
Shows why we can’t rely on the employment tribunal system to deliver fairness and highlights the changes required to protect workers’ rights.
“How can employers and the government argue that employment rights are a burden on business at the same time as so many workplace injustices go unremedied? In the context of a debate over employment law reform that is in danger of being overwhelmed by rhetoric and misinformation, this book will be essential reading for its empirically grounded and dispassionate analysis of what has gone wrong and how it might be put right.” – Simon Deakin, Professor of Law at the University of Cambridge
“‘Employment law in this country isn’t written for working people’ – I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve heard that at union meetings. But when you’re the person victimised at work, then we all hope Employment Tribunals will deliver us justice. With this excellent step-by-step explanation of how the system works in reality, David Renton explains why it so rarely does. Blacklisted workers have experienced the process first-hand and know this book is true.” – Dave Smith, Blacklist Support Group