Commenting on the proposals outlined in the Beecroft Report, Dr Adam Marshall, Director of Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:
“Adrian Beecroft is right to point out that at a time when millions of people are unemployed, ministers should be looking for ways to make it easier and less costly to employ people, not the other way around. Of course employment rights are important, but should be weighed against opportunities for the unemployed who are looking for work. “Ministers should consider and progress all proposals that would give businesses greater confidence to hire - an outcome that would benefit companies, individuals and the UK economy as a whole."
Commenting on the proposal for a new compensated no-fault dismissal route:
“Employers tell us that hiring staff is expensive, so dismissing someone is always a last resort. We are not saying that businesses should be able to ‘fire at will’, but the fear of not being able to dismiss a troublesome employee prevents many businesses from recruiting.
“A compensated no-fault dismissal route would be more favourable financially for an employee than if they were managed out of the business on performance grounds. Both parties would also avoid the emotional distress, uncertainty and reputational damage of an employment tribunal. However, this system would be costly and would not provide the full protection offered by compromise agreements, so would only be used in extreme cases. Furthermore, the impact on employment rights is minimal and vastly outweighed by the boost to employer confidence and the number of jobs it help to generate.
“Compensated no-fault dismissal should accompany proposals to make compromise agreements easier for employers to use. This will help businesses create jobs for the large number of talented, hard-working people that are unemployed in the UK.”
Commenting on flexible working and shared parental leave proposals:
“Businesses are not against flexible working or shared parental leave as concepts, but face real problems when it comes to implementation. Most businesses cannot accommodate unlimited flexible working and are concerned by the potential damage to employee relationships if they grant one request and have to turn down a more worthy request later.
“Shared parental leave introduces new and serious complexity to the relationship between an employer and member of staff. For the first time the employer-employee relationship will be contingent on a third party – the employee’s partner’s boss. Employers should be able to focus on the day to day running of their business and creating jobs and growth, rather than managing the family matters of employees.”