Government Shelf 'Hire And Fire' Law
|A controversial proposal for a new "hire and fire" law, which would have allowed small businesses to dismiss workers without giving a reason, has been shelved after companies themselves showed no support for the idea.
A consultation by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is thought to have found that just over a third of private sector employers supported the idea of compensated no-fault dismissal, first suggested by a report commissioned by David Cameron from the venture capitalist Adrian Beecroft.
Nearly two-thirds of all businesses, and about the same proportion of those with fewer than 15 staff, for which the new law was intended, said they opposed the plan or were unsure.
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On Monday the department would not confirm that compensated no-fault dismissal had been abandoned, and said officials were still considering all responses to the consultation, which closed on 8 June.
However, ministers will publish details of a new proposal for fast-track settlements on Tuesday, which are being seen as an alternative to the Beecroft scheme.
Under fast-track settlements, employees will have a chance to leave by mutual agreement with a payout and possibly a reference, but they will agree to drop any future claim against the company. Companies will be reassured that staff who refuse the offer and go through the normal redundancy procedure will not be able to use the offer as evidence against their bosses.
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