CODE: GREEN ongoing
In 2011 the Government launched its “Red Tape Challenge”, a scheme that intends to boost economic growth by identifying and removing unnecessary regulations on businesses.
Over 20,000 regulations have been grouped into “themes”, such as insolvency and business services, and the public asked to comment on how policies in those areas could be simplified, better implemented or whether certain legislation should be abolished altogether. Themes are opened for comment on a dedicated website for a certain period and once closed, the relevant government department is given three months to justify why the regulation should remain.
As part of this, the Government has been reviewing existing employment rights legislation and this had led to a number of the changes that we have recently been blogging about, including the introduction of tribunal fees and the amendment to the qualifying period for unfair dismissals in certain circumstances.
Now the Government has set out the next steps it intends to take as part of this Challenge, which includes a further review of whistleblowing protections and consideration as to how early conciliation will work in practice.
The Government has already introduced some changes to the whistleblowing system, which are set out in our 25 June blog, however they still feel that more needs to be done to strengthen protection and they now intend to assess whether there are any barriers stopping people from reporting wrongdoing at work.
As for early conciliation, we previously reported in our 17 June blog that this system will be introduced by the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act on 6 April 2014 and the Government has now said they will consider the detail of the regulations. It has recently published its response to consultations on this particular topic which it will use to identify any issues that need to be addressed and it plans to work with Acas to produce guidance and forms to accompany the legislation.
There are likely to be many more changes under this Challenge and we will keep you up to date via our blog.