There are a number of changes occuring that impact employer’s HR and recruitment policies. This page sets out some of these and provides links for more information.
The Employer’s Charter
27 January 2011 - The Employer’s Charter includes plans to improve the way in which workplace disputes are resolved. In particular the plans would increase the qualifying period before staff can make an unfair dismissal claim from one to two years. In the past, safeguarding concerns have led to disciplinary proceedings or staff resignations and were followed by the threat of unfair dimissal claims. ISA registration would have made it illegal to employ someone barred from regulated activity and so eased the risk of tribunals.
Last year tribunal claims rose to 236,000 – a record figure and a rise of 56 per cent on 2009. Businesses has to spend around £4,000 on average to defend itself against a claim. Concerns have been raised by businesses that the system has become too costly and timeconsuming and that it is too easy to make unmerited or vexatious claims.
Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke said: “The intention of the Charter is to raise awareness and give clarity amongst employers on what they can and can’t do when managing their staff and covers a wide range of employment law issues.
“The employment law review is taking a comprehensive look at employment legislation across government. In the next few months, requirements will be considered…to ensure that it is as simple and straightforward as possible to take on staff. As part of this, we intend to publish a model contract for employers shortly.”
The Education Bill
27th January 2011 - Elements of the new Education Bill will impact safeguarding in schools. In particular, it paves the way for reduced school inspections and the granting of anonymity to teachers who have been accused of misconduct by pupils. Also the Secretary of State will keep a list of people barred from teaching and that “this must be available for inspection by the public”. Further details are available here and the full explanatory notes here.
Previously, Ofsted inspectors measured schools in 27 categories but that is being reduced to four: pupil achievement, quality of teaching, leadership and management and the behaviour and safety of pupils. Furthermore the Bill exempts outstanding schools from routine Ofsted inspections – meaning one in five of England’s schools will not be inspected unless problems are reported.
The legislation will also transfer key responsibilities to the Secretary of State for Education. These were previously held by five quangos which are being abolished, including teacher training. This also includes the power to investigate allegations of misconduct by teachers and to ban them – work previously done by the General Teaching Council for England.
The Bill also says the secretary of state will keep a list of people barred from teaching and that “this must be available for inspection by the public”