Author Profile Picture

Cath Everett

Sift Media

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

Read more about Cath Everett

News: Cable blasts Beecroft Report as “complete nonsense”


The Business Secretary has blasted plans to make it easier for firms to sack under-performing staff as “complete nonsense”, warning that they would leave a “dead hand of fear” hanging over workers’ heads.

Vince Cable told the BBC that it was not the job of government to “scare the wits” out of people by introducing policies such as no-fault dismissal, following the leaking of venture capitalist Adrian Beecroft’s report on employment reform to the Daily Telegraph.
He also reacted angrily to initial reports that David Cameron would back the no-fault dismissal proposals, which indicated a potential rift among the coalition partners, although later reports pointed to a potential Prime Ministerial U-turn – despite approval by many on the Tory back benches of a loosening of employment protection legislation.
Cable wrote in the Sun newspaper this morning: “Some people think that, if labour rights were stripped down to the most basic minimum, employers would start hiring and the economy would soar again. This is complete nonsense.”
He described British workers as an asset rather than just a cost for company bosses, adding “that is why I am opposed to the ideological zealots who want to encourage British firms to fire at will”.
Beecroft’s report, which was commissioned by the Prime Minister, puts forward a controversial set of recommendations for dismantling existing UK employment regulations. Beecroft’s belief is that current employment law is “impeding” business and “exacerbating the national problem of high unemployment”.
Other proposals, according to the Telegraph, include:
  • Delaying the introduction of pensions auto-enrolment due to cost issues
  • Preventing flexible working becoming a legal right for all employees and introducing a voluntary code instead
  • Watering down ‘Tupe’ rules
  • Scrapping plans for equal pay audits
  • Permitting large firms to halve the current 60-day notice period to 30 when making collective redundancies of more than 100 people in order to bring the practice into line with that of small companies
  • Introducing a new online immigration system to enable employers to check on workers’ legal employment status. This would mean that they no longer had to keep paper records for up to two years after a given employee has left.
Author Profile Picture
Cath Everett

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

Read more from Cath Everett

Get the latest from HRZone

Subscribe to expert insights on how to create a better workplace for both your business and its people.


Thank you.