Prime Minister David Cameron is said to be about to endorse a report written by venture capitalist Adrian Beecroft that will call for firms to be given more flexibility to make redundancies and an easing of equality rules to boost job creation.
The report, which has taken months to get to publication, is due out this week and is said to contain 20 proposals aimed at building the “bonfire of red tape” that employers say are stifling economic growth.
Recommendations in the report are expected to include:
- An end to the mandatory consultation period when companies want to make redundancies from 90 days to 30 days with an emergency five-day period if the company is in severe economic distress
- A cap on loss of earnings compensation for employees who are unfairly dismissed
- Major reform of the rights that workers are allowed to “carry” over to new employers when they are the subject of a takeover
- Scrapping provisions in the Equality Act which make employers liable for claims from employees for “third party harassment”, which is already the subject of a Government consultation
- Giving responsibility for checking on foreign workers’ eligibility to work in the UK to the Border Agency or Home Office, rather than employers
If, as expected, David Cameron does give the report his full backing, he risks alienating his Liberal Democrat colleagues, but a spokesman for the Department of Business has said: “The Beecroft report is but one of many submissions gathered by government in the last year in response to the Red Tape Challenge – most of which have submitted strong evidence-based proposals in response to suggested changes to labour market rules.”
The spokesman added that the government was committed to reforming employment law and boosting growth “while at the same time ensuring we do not weaken the employment rights of workers up and down the country”.