Easier dismissals for small businesses?

27 March 2012
Easier dismissals for small businesses?

The government is calling for evidence for its proposals to introduce lighter dismissal regulation for smaller employers.

Currently all employers must follow the Acas code in order to dismiss an employee for under performance. This involves considering evidence, inviting the employee to a meeting to discuss the issue, allowing the employee to be accompanied by a colleague or union representative, deciding on appropriate action and allowing the employee to appeal the decision.

Under the proposals put forward for consultation,  the Acas code would be adapted so that organisations with less than 10 staff would be able to dismiss staff without reason or due process, providing that compensation is paid to the employee in return. Measures are also suggested to simplify the Acas code for small employers.

The argument, from recent consultation exercises is that very small employers struggle with the legal burden of dismissing employees for under performance.

The concern raised by bodies such as the CIPD, is that amending the Acas code would create a two-tier system - and would damage the morale and productivity of staff within smaller enterprises.

The consultation is open until Friday 8 June 2012. To respond, visit the BIS website or feed in online via Surveymonkey.

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