Success at Work

Protecting vulnerable workers, supporting good employers

On 30 March 2006, the Government launched its strategy to protect vulnerable workers and support good employers.  The document will be the focus of the Government’s employment relations for this Parliament.

In its strategy paper the Department of Trade and Industry sets out the Government’s commitments on employment relations with an increased focus on vulnerable workers and those who exploit them.

Trade and Industry Secretary, Alan Johnson MP, said that much had been done to successfully combine social justice and economic efficiency showing that fairness and decent minimum standards were not barriers to jobs and growth.

Employment Law Practitioner Panel

On 21 December DTI Secretary of State Alistair Darling appointed a panel of business and employment law experts to advise on ways to simplify employment law.

In its March 2006 document Success at Work, which set out the government’s employment law policy for the remainder of this Parliament, the DTI announced an Employment Law Simplification Review.   This review aims to reduce the compliance costs and complexity of employment law, without diluting employee or union rights.

Success at Work described a number of specific areas of employment law that we had identified to review.  It also explained that, with stakeholders and a panel of practitioners, we would seek to identify and bring forward proposals on any other areas of employment law where simplification and clarification can be achieved.

Mr Darling announced on 7 December that he had appointed Michael Gibbons to chair this panel of practitioners – as well as to conduct a root and branch review of Government support for resolving disputes in the workplace.  He has now appointed the following people to sit on the panel under Mr Gibbons’ chairmanship:

  • Susan Anderson (CBI)
  • Paul Backhouse (John Lewis)
  • Richard Dunstan (Citizens’ Advice Bureaux)
  • Mike Emmott (CIPD)
  • Martin Flavell (Finmeccanica)
  • Scott Johnson (W F Watt)
  • Peter Schofield (EEF)
  • Simon Topman (Acme Whistles Company Ltd)
  • Sarah Veale (TUC)

The DTI Simplification Plan now the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR), published on 11 December and available at 'Better Regulation', summarises current and intended progress on employment law simplification measures.  We are grateful for the comments we have already received on these and other employment simplification measures, and we shall be putting all these suggestions to the Panel.  We would also welcome any further suggestions on where we might usefully simplify employment law without diluting rights. These can be sent to employmentlawsimplification@berr.gsi.gov.uk. Comments specifically on dispute resolutions can be sent to disputereview@berr.gsi.gov.uk