Vince Cable’s BIS team respond to the Beecroft Report

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has responded to the content of the Beecroft Report, which was designed to reduce red tape for employers and improve business growth.

Vince Cable, Business Secretary, gave a somewhat underwhelming endorsement of one of the most controversial proposals, the “no-fault dismissal”. Mr Cable said, “One of [the] recommendations was a suggestion to bring in no-fault dismissal. In my daily conversations with businesses, this has very rarely been raised with me as a barrier to growth. Businesses are much more concerned about access to finance or weak demand than they are about this issue.”

BIS has asked for evidence to support the proposals in the Beecroft Report, in light of the controversy (and subsequent public spat between Vince Cable and Adrian Beecroft) which has arisen from this report.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Business Minister Mark Prisk said, “The report was intended to feed into the work that the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is carrying out to review employment laws to ensure that they maximise flexibility and reflect modern workplace practices.

“Over the past few months, Ministers have been working on the red-tape challenge and the employment law review. We are already auctioning 17 of the 23 topics that [Beecroft] raised.”

Some of the areas that the BIS has already responded to:

Unfair dismissal: Qualifying period already extended to 2 years for new starters from 6 April 2012

Discrimination: Consultation is underway on abolishing third-party harassment provisions ,and the effect of removing the DRA will be considered in 4 years’ time

Tribunals: A number of changes have already been made to the workings of the tribunal system; a consultation due on imposing fees; a cap on discrimination awards has been rejected as would be illegal under EU law etc.

TUPE: The Beecroft Report recommends removing the “gold-plated “ TUPE transfer and limiting conditions to a 12 month period only. This will be included in the “call for evidence”.