Last week, the Prime Minister, the Rt Hon David Cameron MP, visited Brentford for a meeting with local businesses in Brentford to discuss the government’s plans to shake up employment law.
Ed Davey MP, the Business Minister, and Mary Macleod MP, Member of Parliament for Brentford & Isleworth joined the meeting at local firm Octink together with Will Tyler, Chief Executive of Octink, Mike Freely, Managing Director of Octink, Will Butler-Adams from Brompton Bicycles, Jonny Goldstone co-owner of Green Tomato Cars, Tom Keane co-owner of Chiswick Auctions and Colin Stanbridge, Chief Executive of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Tribunal claims rose to 236,000 last year – a record figure and a rise of 56 per cent on 2009 – and business has to spend almost £4,000 on average to defend itself against a claim. Concerns have been raised by businesses that the system has become too costly, takes too much time, places unnecessary strains on small businesses and that it is too easy to make unmerited or vexatious claims.
The Prime Minister announced government plans to reduce the burdens on business by introducing significant changes to the employment tribunal system. The changes outlined in the government consultation paper include increasing the qualifying period for employees to be able to bring a claim for unfair dismissal from one to two years, encouraging parties to resolve disputes between themselves as early as possible, speeding up the tribunals process and putting in place a process to deal with weaker cases so they don’t unduly impact on employers.
Mary Macleod MP said: “It’s marvellous that the Prime Minister has taken the time to come and visit some of the brilliant businesses we have locally. Encouraging and supporting small businesses is a vital element of the Government’s growth strategy and so important for creating jobs in the future.
“The changes outlined in this consultation on employment law demonstrate the Government’s commitment to removing barriers to growth, while making sure that both employees and employers are treated fairly.”