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Small business hiring and firing to be redressed

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by: Nick Campbell
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Word Count: 293
Date: Mon, 23 Jan 2012 Time: 8:31 PM

Small businesses that employ 10 or less staff are to experience changes to the way in which they are currently permitted under employment law to dismiss staff members without fear of consequent employment tribunal action. From the reverse perspective, this means that staff employed by small companies will be denied the right to instigate employment tribunal action on grounds of unfair dismissal after the legislation is passed. Small businesses will however be required to pay appropriate amounts of compensation to staff members they let go.

Whilst the Government is consulting on proposals to amend this area of employment law, fears abound that changes will offer ready made loopholes for unscrupulous business owners to jump through. As definitive changes have yet to be agreed upon, it looks likely that forthcoming legislative amendments may take the form of what is termed as compensated no-fault dismissal. This will mean that small business owners cannot be held at fault by an employment tribunal for dismissing staff members, provided that that they adhere to relevant compensation payoffs.

Early indications of these changes also suggest that protected conversations might be introduced. These will be forums in which employers can conduct forthright conversations with unproductive staff members free of fear that the conversations might be later used in evidence against them at an employment tribunal. Furthermore, the forthcoming introduction of employment tribunal fees will mean that existing or ex employees will be required to pay to take legal action against employers.

We, at NorthgateArinso, offer first class employment law and employment tribunal services to small businesses. Our comprehensive human resources expertise is an invaluable tool that empowers many businesses to remain on the right side of employment law, as it currently stands and as it continues to evolve in the future.

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