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Employment Bill to promote a “no surprises” culture at work

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The Employment Relations Bill was introduced in the House of Commons yesterday.

The Bill, announced in the Queen’s Speech last week, is the result of an evidence-based review of the Employment Relations Act 1999, which ended yesterday with the publication of the Government’s conclusions

The Bill would implement the TUC/CBI framework agreement on Information and Consultation, forcing employers to inform and consult their employees on management decisions affecting their future, including:

  • employment prospects
  • changes in work organisation or contractual relations, including redundancies and transfers, and
  • economic prospects for their industry.
  • The DTI says the Bill will improve the process whereby unions can gain recognition from employers and enter into collective agreements, where the majority of the workforce wants to.

    The Bill would strengthen the rights of trade union members and improve the protections against dismissal of workers who take lawfully organised strike action by exempting lock-out days from the eight week unfair dismissal protected period.

    It would also provide greater protections for employees who request flexible working from unfair dismissal and improve the national minimum wage enforcement regime. The right to be accompanied to a disciplinary or grievance hearing would be clarified, to better define the role of the person who is accompanying a worker.

    Click here for more information on the measures contained in the Bill.

    Employment Relations Minister, Gerry Sutcliffe, said: “I want to see an end to the climate where people only hear out of the blue about job losses from the media, or by text message. I want to see a “no surprises” culture at work where employers and employees discuss common ground and find solutions to mutual problems.”

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