Employment Relations Minister Jo Swinson MP to discuss biggest shake up of employment law in a generation

  29th May 2013      
 CIPD, Company News

Annual CIPD Employment Law Conference debates impact of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act as well as other recent changes in employment legislation

At the CIPD’s annual Employment Law Conference inLondon on Wednesday 3 July, HR professionals will receive an update on key changes to the employment law landscape, including changes in legislation under theEnterprise and Regulatory Reform Act, and their role in making sure they translate into engaged workforces and productive workplaces on the ground.

The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act in particular, published earlier this month, has the potential to significantly affect the employment relationship, with changes to whistle-blowing legislation and to how settlement agreements are used. Delegates will be able to discuss what these new changes mean for them and their own instrumental role in ensuring that new legislation is implemented constructively, with best practice in mind.

Jo Swinson MP, Minister for Employment Relations and Consumer Affairs, who will address delegates at the conference, comments:

“The UK already has a strongly performing labour market, but we know that we can do more to support better relationships between workers and employers. Our employment law reforms are aimed at making evolutionary improvements to the labour market so it retains a flexibility and dynamism that benefits individuals, employers and the economy.

“We are making changes which will support greater participation in the workplace, through the Children and Families Bill including an extension of the right to request flexible working and introducing a system of shared parental leave.  We are now moving into the next phase of implementation, and the CIPD conference will bring an important expert perspective to our changes.”

Other speakers at the conference will include legal experts from Acas Council, DLA Piper,CityLawSchool, DKM LLP, Henderson Chambers and Dechert LLP, who will cover topics including:

  • Understanding the impact of theEnterpriseand Regulatory Reform Act
  • Updates and developments in recent important European employment law changes
  • Government changes to Tribunal Rules of Procedure following the review byLord JusticeUnderhill;
  • How to adopt a practical approach to Data Protection and Privacy
  • Latest development and details arising in TUPE consultation

Mike Emmott, employee relations adviser at the CIPD, said: “There has been a perception that the balance of employment regulation has been tilted too far in favour of the employee. The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act is one of the main elements in a major overhaul of employment law, which represents probably the biggest shake-up of employment law in a generation, and will undoubtedly tilt the balance back so it is more favourable to the employer. Now it’s down to the HR community to proactively take advantage of the changing employment law situation and see that new legislation is implemented constructively.  For example, employers will have every incentive to accept an offer of early conciliation by Acas, and if they believe that a claim has no chance of succeeding, they can ask for it to be dismissed under new arrangements for case management before it reaches a tribunal hearing.

“While employers will welcome the attempt to reduce the volume of claims to employment tribunals, concerns remain about the overall impact of the changes.  This will put HR professionals under the spotlight to ensure that it’s implemented constructively.  For example, it is up to HR practitioners to ensure that settlement agreements are used in a way which doesn’t undermine good performance management.”

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