Government Reviews the Dismissal Process

The Government is carrying out a review of the current dismissal process and is seeking the views of employers, employees and all other interested parties on whether the procedures, including the ACAS Code of Practice on Discipline and Grievance, are too onerous, too complex and not generally well understood.

One proposal is the introduction of compensated ‘no fault’ dismissal for micro-businesses with fewer than 10 employees. Under such a system, an employer would be able to dismiss an employee in circumstances where no fault had been identified on their part, with the payment of a set amount of compensation.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said that the Government recognises that ‘not all jobs work out for both parties – the staff member doesn’t quite fit or simply the relationship has irretrievably broken down. And for micros in particular, who often don’t have legal or HR teams, the process to let a staff member go can be a daunting and complicated process. We want to give businesses the confidence to hire new staff and make sure when a dismissal needs to be made, they aren’t tied up in red tape. This is an effort to see how extensive the problem is and shed some light on the desire for a change to the rules.’

The Call for Evidence on ‘Compensated No Fault Dismissal’ and the ACAS Code of Practice on Discipline and Grievance can be found on the website of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. The closing date is 8 June 2012.

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