According to today’s papers David Cameron has revived Adrian Beecroft’s report proposing major attacks on UK employment rights in a desperate bid to revive the economy.
The Telegraph says that Cameron will throw his weight behind Beecroft’s report which calls for a ‘bonfire of regulations’ that employers say are stifling job creation. This despite Cameron being warned off by Nick Clegg and Vince Cable and Cameron’s viewing the proposals as ‘politically sticky’.
The report by Adrian Beecroft, a venture capitalist, who is the chairman of Dawn Capital, the company which owns and makes money out of other peoples misery – the pay day loans company Wonga.com and made who a donation of £600k to the Tories is slated to be published in full this week after months of delay and being shelved by civil servants.
The report calls for more flexibility to make redundancies; for the lifting of restrictions on the equality laws and for a cap on employment tribunal payouts.
The report is being dressed up as ‘pro-growth’ and ”cutting red tape’. Many employers have already stated there is no need for more changes to employment rights. Many doubt such changes will make any difference to growing the economy.
In reality these propels are being pushed by right wing MPs and organisations bruised by the drubbing the Government took at the recent local elections and the lack of any positive news on economy.
The document, drawn up by Beecroft after he was given access to Government lawyers, has 20 proposals including:
* An end to a mandatory 90-day consultation period when a company is considering redundancy programmes. Beecroft recommends a 30-day period and an emergency five-day period if a company is in severe economic distress.
* A cap on loss of earnings compensation for employees who make successful unfair dismissal claims. Payments can often total hundreds of thousands of pounds.
* Major reform of the rights that workers are allowed to “carry” to new employers when they are the subject of a takeover. Currently, the rights, called transfer of undertakings (TUPE), can leave people in the same company working in the same job with different levels of rights for many years.
* An end to provisions in the Equality Act which make employers liable for claims from employees for “third party harassment” — for example, customers making “sexist” comments to staff in a restaurant. The Government has already begun a consultation on the issue.
* Moving the responsibility to check on foreign workers’ eligibility to work in Britain from employers to the Border Agency or the Home Office.
However, a Tweet from the BBC’s Allegra Stratton this afternoon says: “Very strong pushback from BIS over Beecroft. Tone is: now Hilton gone, we won’t have to put up with blue skies policy fantasies no more.”