With the Government having unveiled plans to overhaul employment tribunals and make other changes to employment law, Denise Keating, CEO of leading age campaigners, the Employers Network for Equality and Inclusion (enei) says:
“Vince Cable’s statement and speech today may have been regarded generally as good news for employers, but in reality we think that it’s too early to tell whether the Government’s plans will do much to reduce the volume of workplace disputes or the costs of dealing with claims.
“Although the expansion of mediation services is a welcome step towards avoiding costly and time consuming litigation, we are unconvinced that it will become an accepted part of the dispute resolution process, especially for smaller employers, in the short to medium term.
“There is no doubt that claims in the employment tribunals – which stood at 218,000 in the year to March 2011 – are at a high level, but unfair dismissal claims account for less than a quarter of the total, and were actually lower than in the previous two years. Although it was opposed by the majority of those responding to the consultation, the Government is nonetheless proceeding to increase the qualifying period for such claims from one to two years despite the fact that on its own revised estimates this will reduce the number of such claims by less than 3,200 a year.
“While the Government says that it does not consider that the increase in the qualifying period will have considerable disparity of impact on any particular group, we believe there may well be an unintended consequence for youth unemployment: one of our legal partners, Lewis Silkin LLP, has estimated that whereas nearly half of all under 20s currently qualify for unfair dismissal rights, this will reduce to just one in five.
“The proposal that all employment tribunal claims should be mandatorily referred in the first instance to Acas for early conciliation makes good sense (providing the necessary additional resources are made available), as does the idea of simplifying the use of settlement agreements. However, we have real concerns that the developing idea of “protected conversations” will be a licence for employers seeking to use them as an excuse for continued poor line management processes. And we believe that given the employment relationship is based on ‘mutual trust and confidence’ this approach will undermine employee rights, particularly where discrimination claims are concerned.
“Any details following a review of the tribunal process will have to wait for the outcome of Mr Justice Underhill’s fundamental review next April, although it’s encouraging to see that changes in relation to witness statements and employment judges sitting alone, for example, will be taken forward at an early opportunity. And we welcome the concept that a rapid resolution scheme might be developed to enable the resolution of more straightforward claims without resort to an employment tribunal.”
Judgement day - 19 March 2012
Eat Well Live Well project worker position in Barnet - Age UK - 22 February 2012
Job market remains toughest for older workers. - 01 December 2011
Over 80% of older jobseekers say they missed out on jobs due to ageism - 02 December 2013
Campaigns & Issues
Oldest old ‘not a drain on society’
ILC-UK responds to 2011 Census data on the oldest old published today
David Sinclair, Assistant Director, Policy and Communications at ILC-UK, responding to the results, said:
"This new evidence reveals that 8.8% for those aged over 85 are still caring for someone. And half of these older carers are providing support for more than 50 hours a week.
The Elders honour the memory of their Founder, Nelson Mandela
The Elders are deeply saddened by the death of their founder, Nelson Mandela. They join millions of people around the world who were inspired by his courage and touched by his compassion. All will mourn his passing.
Mandela – or Madiba as he is known in South Africa – called the Elders together in 2007, urging them to be bold, independent and to speak the truth. He told them to be a robust force for good, and to work in the interests of peace for all humanity.
Competitions & Fun
Fairytale of New York voted top Christmas driving song!
With the festive season fast approaching and Christmas songs becoming a daily feature of radio station playlists, a 1st Central Insurance survey reveals The Pogues' Fairytale of New York is the nation's favourite Christmas song to drive along to.
Whilst drivers surveyed found the radio the least distracting in-car activity compared to mobile phones, children, satellite-navigation systems and chatting to passengers; 1st Central is cautioning motorists to remain focussed whilst behind the wheel this festive season.
Win one of 31 fabulous travel treats from Silver Travel Advisor this December
Enter now and you could win one of the 31 travel treats from our Christmas Stocking.
Silver Travel Advisor is a friendly website packed with advice, tips, information and honest reviews written by and for silver travellers (aged over 50). A team of advisors are on hand to answer queries (for free), and you can share your own experiences too.
Health & Wellbeing
Winterproof your skin
Radiant, glowing skin can be yours whatever the weather. We let you in on some expert secrets
The weather has a huge impact on how you look and feel and the secret to healthy glowing skin is to adapt your skincare regime according to the season. Follow these steps and your skin will repay you with a gorgeous glow that will last right through to spring.
At this time of year cold harsh winds and the drying effects of central heating can wreak havoc on your skin and it may need extra hydration to give back what Mother Nature takes away. ‘The lipid layer, the outermost layer of the skin, needs to be protected to create a barrier that keeps natural moisture intact and stops it from escaping,’ explains dermatologist Victoria Pugh.
Property & Finance
Costly Christmas Needs Careful Budgeting
Nearly a third of Brits won’t be able to make November’s salary last until Christmas
Only 26 per cent have budgeted for the festive expense
The Christmas countdown is on and with three weeks to go, Britain’s number one comparison site MoneySuperMarket.com reveals nearly a third (30 per cent) of Christmas spenders won’t be able to make their November salary last to fund the festivities.
Leisure and Lifestyle
Joyce Glasser reviews Frozen
Frozen is seasonal, family entertainment at its best with Executive Producer John Lasseter (UP, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Brave) working his magic once again. This combination of romantic comedy and musical adventure story was inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s 1845 fable, The Snow Queen and features, at its core, an unusual, schmaltz-free sisterly bond.
That might be because the film is co-directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, with Lee, the first female director of animation in Disney’s history, in charge of the script. It’s hard to imagine any demographic that won’t be drawn to its varied characters, settings, and superb 3D animation, not to mention its wise messages and music.
Driving home for Christmas
Chris Rea’s song 'Driving Home for Christmas' is a one that resonates with many of us at this time of the year.
While it’s the time to spend with family and friends, many of us will be embarking on a car journey home before we enjoy the festive cheer.
But before you make that journey home, it’s important to do a few checks to the car.
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