Sam Smith is a former Labour Councillor and Spin-Doctor who subsequently defected to the Conservative Party in disgust at New Labour's illiberal laws. He sometimes assists litigants in person as a McKenzie Friend, charitably, for example in the recent DJ v TCBC case regarding the so-called Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards. He has recently obtained a place on a GDL course.
The recent Beecroft report was a missed opportunity for the Conservative Party. Employment law is crying out for reform but Beecroft's proposals lack balance and contain nothing to sell them to the wider public. Sam Smith puts the case for real, comprehensive and Conservative reform of Employment law.
As a former Labour councillor I am no stranger to employment law. Whilst I have never myself issued proceedings in an Employment Tribunal, I have from time to time assisted and represented those who believe they have been treated unfairly. I feel a need to comment on the recent Beecroft report, which made some good points but sadly missed many critical ones.
Like Labour's nightmarish attempts at Mental Capacity law, which are unpopular with professionals, patients and families alike the Employment tribunal system can lead to unsatisfactory results for both employees and employers. I believe that employment law can and should be radically reformed, but rather than tinkering these reforms need to be a coherent package in the manner of the Jackson reforms of the main civil law system. A number of changes are needed, which work as a whole but some of which might be counterproductive on their own.
Blame, No Blame and References
Beecroft proposes to introduce no-fault dismissal. Despite the Liberal hysteria this is hardly radical. These days the overwhelming majority of employment settlements are 'no-fault'. Show me a compromise agreement and 99 times out of a 100 I will show you the words 'without any admission of liability'. Most cases simply do not go to trial. In the official figures nearly half of all claims are settled or withdrawn. These figures do not include settlements pre-issue of the ET1 . Quiet, private arrangements happen all the time and both parties insist on silence.