Employment relations laws face modernisation

The current employment relations laws are to be modernised to help foster a
more inclusive working environment and reverse a climate so acrimonious that
some staff have even been fired by text message.

The Employment Relations Bill will encourage employers and staff to work in
partnership to create a ‘no surprises culture’, according to the Government.

Employment relations minister Gerry Sutcliffe told the House of Commons that
employers and staff should discuss common ground to solve problems. "I
want an end to the climate where people hear about job losses from the media or
by text message."

The Bill also implements a TUC/CBI framework agreement on information and
consultation, giving employees the chance to be informed and consulted on
management decisions affecting their future.

It aims to improve the process whereby unions can gain recognition from
employers and then enter into collective agreements with the backing of the
majority of the workforce.

Sutcliffe said the Bill would ensure that companies could not bribe
employees to relinquish their union rights, and would protect against the
dismissal of workers who take lawfully organised strike action.

He confirmed that the Bill, announced as part of the Queen’s Speech, would
be amended to allow unions to expel racist activists and others whose behaviour
is politically unacceptable.

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