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Archive for November, 2010

Ken Clarke, the Justice Secretary, has said that he will slash the Legal Aid bill by more than a third. As a result lawyers fear they will lose out on tribunal fees and that their most vulnerable clients will lose out on access to justice ~ and they are probably right to be concerned.

Of course, the immediate winners will be the employers who can rest a little easier knowing that it will be much more expensive for an employee to pursue an unfair dismissal claim.

However, that isn’t the full story because workplace disputes won’t simply evaporate, they will move to another venue. The cut and thrust of the tribunal will give way to the diplomacy of mediation meetings and I expect lawyers will catch on pretty quickly and give their mediation skills and experience higher billing than has traditionally been the case.

Here is the interview with KC on Radio 4.

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It looks as though government will reduce employee rights to unfair dismissal claims by requiring them to have worked for their employer for at least 2 or even 3 years before they qualify. Lord Young suggested that the government may introduce such a measure to assist small businesses during the economic recovery. However,Lord Young told Radio 4 that he would ‘listen to employers before making a decision’.

‘With respect Lord Young: Why bother…. like all employment lawyers I have been listening to employers for years and I can assure you the answer is a no-brainer! If you ask employees the same question you may get a very different answer but if you want to turbo charge business then it’s time to give employers a break. Just go for it. ‘

You can listen to the interview here. It’s a very positive message for small businesses. Plus you can read the brief paper setting out government priorities for small business by clicking on this link.

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