Shares 4 Rights – Dead in the Water?

The FT published a story yesterday saying that only a very few companies have enquired about the government’s plans to allow workers to swap shares for employment rights since the scheme came into force (should that be farce?)  in April.

The report states that BIS has had four inquiries about the scheme and HMRC a mere two, with law firms apparently seeking information on the scheme, presumably not with a view to getting involved themselves.

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Government’s Jobseekers Scheme Ruled Unlawful

caitreilly download

The main employment law news yesterday was the story about Cait Reilly winning her case in the Court of Appeal against the decision to make her work in Poundland for nothing, apart from the right to continue receiving Jobseekers Allowance.  The facts have been well trailed so I won’t refer to them here, save to say that this wasn’t really an employment law case or an employment law issue. Instead it was a political story about how the Government failed to properly implement a controversial scheme.

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Vince Cable: In the Eye of the Storm

On the subject of compromise, there must be an even more uneasy atmosphere around the Cabinet table following the front-page report in the FT today saying that Vince Cable cannot support the government’s reforms of employment law.

Saint Vince is reported as saying he will resist “bonkers” proposals over “no-fault dismissals”.  Mind you, he was ready to go to war with News International over their proposed purchase of BSkyB until he shot himself in the foot.  Cable is also reported as having had conversations with Ed Miliband; so has Nick Clegg.  About what?  We’re not told apart from a vague reference to “important areas of public policy”. What’s happened to collective Cabinet responsibility?

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Ed Davey Talks Turkey


The government promised us with reform of the Employment Tribunal system several months ago, but hard details have still to emerge.  Instead the Post Office Minister, Ed Davey addressed the Lib Dems at their conference in Birmingham on Monday and sandwiched between talk about more post offices and supermarkets he produced detailed proposals for a radical overhaul of the ET system, thus redressing the alleged imbalance between employers and employees.

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Coulson’s Compromise Agreement: So What?

I’ve been away in France for a couple of weeks, hence the silence on this blog.  It’s now time to burn off those calories with some serious typing and what better start than on a story that Robert Peston ran on his BBC blog on the 22nd August (apologies if this is staler than yesterday’s croissant)?  Under a headline “Coulson got hundreds of thousands of pounds from News International”, Mr. Peston reported that Andy Coulson (yes, the one late of News International (NI) and News of the World) received several hundred thousand pounds in respect of

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The Justice Bill: CFA or DBA?

On Monday I wrote about the government’s plans for reforming legal aid and the funding of civil litigation. One of the issues which confuses me is what will happen to no win no fee agreements now that contingency fee arrangements (or, Damages Based Agreements as they are to be known) are to be allowed in the courts. They have, of course, been allowed in Employment Tribunals for quite some time but were regulated by the Damages Based Agreements Regulations 2010 last year.

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Access Denied?

The government has finally published its long awaited bill on civil litigation cost reform, bundled in with legal aid and sentencing reform. It is highly controversial and the government has done nothing to calm fears by fast-tracking the bill through parliament.  In the foreword to “Legal Aid Reform in England and Wales: The Government Response” Ken Clarke sets out what he seeks to achieve with these reforms;

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Should the Government Cap Discrimination Awards?

The Independent reported yesterday that an “influential” group of City figures was urging the government to restrict compensation payments in discrimination cases to £50,000.  Currently such awards are unlimited in size, unlike in unfair dismissal cases where the compensatory award is (currently) capped at £68,400.  I have never understood the rationale behind one being restricted and not the other: why should unfair dismissal awards be capped and not those in discrimination cases? Or, conversely why shouldn’t unfair dismissal awards be uncapped?

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Unfair Dismissal Rights to be Restricted?

Not so cuddly Dave

According to today’s Mirror, the government is considering (“in leaked plans”) to double the qualification period for acquiring the right not to be unfairly dismissed to two years. At present, an employee needs to have 12 months continuous employment experience in order to be able to challenge the reason for their dismissal.  Without that right, unless there is an issue of discrimination, whistleblowing, trade union membership or health and safety involved, the only challenge available to an employee is if they don’t get paid their notice pay.

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Bonus Supertax: Nothing more than a gesture?

I’ve been maintaining radio silence for too long – sorry about that but the day job got in the way – and thought it was about time I put up another post. Part of the problem is that there has been a lot of stuff to write about and knowing where to start. However, our darling Chancellor, or should that be Mr Darling, Chancellor – has made my task a little easier today following his Pre-Budget Report, particularly with his tax on bankers’ bonuses.

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