Prime Minister David Cameron has confirmed that the Government intends to consult on allowing employers to have “protected conversations” with underperforming workers that would be inadmissible in employment tribunal proceedings.
In a speech on the Government’s growth package for small businesses, Cameron said:
“And when it comes to making it easier to employ people, we are going to get to grips with some of the rules and regulations designed to protect employees, but which are actually stopping people getting jobs in the first place.
But if employers are so concerned about the prospect of being taken to tribunal that they don’t feel they can have frank conversations with their employees many companies just won’t feel able to create those jobs in the first place…
One businessman said he didn’t have the time or the money to go through the hassle of removing people in the UK – so he hires in the US…
So we will be consulting on the introduction of protected conversations, so a boss and an employee feel able to sit down together and have a frank conversation – at either’s request.”
We’ve already set out some potential pros and cons of “protected conversations”, from what we know so far:
- Pros: Guest blog: Nick Clegg’s “protected conversations” proposal – why it could help Rob McCreath, partner at Archon Solicitors, explains why the introduction of a law to allow employers to have “protected conversations” with underperforming workers could help to reduce tribunal claims, in a guest blog for XpertHR’s Tribunal Watch.
- Cons: Nick Clegg’s “protected conversations” proposal: 15 reasons why this won’t work The idea of allowing for “protected conversations” with staff, which has been championed by the CBI, appears to be that employers could have performance-management discussions with employees that would not be admissible in employment tribunals later.