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Beecroft Report - October 2011

**** Click to View Updated News Story May 2012***



The Daily Telegraph has obtained a confidential report commissioned by David Cameron which advises that companies should be given the right to dismiss unproductive workers without explanation.

The leaked government report, written by Adrian Beecroft, a venture capitalist and Conservative Party Donor, describes Britain's employment laws as "terrible" and that unfair dismissal rules impact on the "efficiency and hence competitiveness of our businesses, and on the effectiveness and cost of our public services".

It also suggest current regulations allow a proportion of employees to "work at a level well below their true capacity" and "coast along" believing they are "secure in the knowledge that their employer will be reluctant to dismiss them".

The Telegraph goes on to say they understand that the report has the support of the Chancellor and Downing Street but that proposals are likely to "meet opposition from some Liberal Democrats and trade unions". But the BBC political correspondent Robin Brandt, reports Downing Street sources have told him "no decisions had been made, and added it is "unlikely we would go further on unfair dismissal".

The aim of the report, outlined by the Telegraph, is to help "lift the burden of red tape from small and medium-sized businesses, which lack the human resources departments and expertise to deal with complex tribunal" with Mr Beecroft highlighting the difficulty companies face in proving unfair dismissal coupled with the issue of making it "too easy for employees to claim they have been unfairly treated and to gain significant compensation".

Mr Beecroft outlines in his report that this will boost employment saying: "In the long run it will increase employment by making our businesses more competitive and hence more likely to grow". However he does acknowledge that replacement regulations would be advisable, recommending a regulation called Compensated No Fault Dismissal, allowing employers to sack unproductive staff with basic redundancy pay and notice.

Recognising the potential "downside" of employers sacking employees because they "did not like them" The Telegraph quote Mr Beecroft as saying "While this is sad I believe it is a price worth paying for all the benefits that would result from the change".

Reactions on the BBC News article regarding the Beecroft Report include a reader describing it as "something a batman villain would try to pull, it's ridiculous!" whilst another asks "Does this apply to MPs and MEPs too?".

Meanwhile on Twitter the CIPD has tweeted: "#Beecroft proposes abolishing unfair dismissal, "slacking" employees should be tackled by effective performance management over time, not summary dismissal" and suggests that as there is "Nothing in #emplaw to stop effective managers dismissing poor performers. Government should be asking what can be done to raise management standards"

Related items:
Read the full Daily Telegraph article on the Beecroft Report
Read and download our AWR information for Hirers and Temporary Workers.

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