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Retailers welcome employment tribunal reform


More jobs could be created if new proposals set out by the coalition government’s Business Secretary Vince Cable come into force, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

In a bid to aid growth and staffing levels in small businesses, Vince Cable has announced he will try to reform the employment tribunal system - and the retail representative group thinks the move will be positive for the sector.

If passed, the reform will extend the amount of time to two years that an employee must be at a company before they can make a claim of unfair dismissal.

Another part of the plan could see employees charged for taking a company to tribunal to try and reduce the number of unwarranted claims.

Following news of the proposal, the BRC said such a measure would speed up a slow process and reduce employer costs.

Stephen Robertson, Director General of the BRC, commented: “Major disputes between employers and their staff are fortunately rare and something bosses are anxious to avoid.

“Retailers are particularly dependent on their staff for the success of their shops and they value good working relationships.

“But, the current tribunal process is often too slow and too costly. Employers can be forced to spend thousands of pounds defending themselves even where they are entirely in the right.

“The central issue for the economy now is jobs. The critical point is, removing deterrents to hiring new staff and reducing unfair costs will help retailers invest and create more of the new jobs the country needs.”

According to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, 2010 saw a 56 per cent year-on-year rise in tribunal claims to 236,000.

This high number of claims, which has resulted in businesses raising concerns about spiralling costs, was one of the main reasons behind the Business Secretary’s latest proposal.

Published on Friday 28 January by Editorial Assistant

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