Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Unfair Dismissal changes just Unfair

Dear Sir

A media fire storm has engulfed the Government following the budget with thousands of column inches dedicated to the pasty tax, cash-for-access scandal and the Chancellor’s hidden raid on pensioners.

Important as these issues are, the media ought to be focusing attention on looming employment law changes that will mean around 2.7 million workers across the UK could face an increased risk of losing their jobs.

Increasing the qualifying period for protection from unfair dismissal from one year to two years on Good Friday (6 April) will increase job insecurity, discriminate against younger workers, part-time women workers and employees from black and ethnic communities.
Cutting back on protection against unfair dismissal will do nothing to boost the economy. If people are constantly in fear of losing their jobs it will lead to even less consumer spending, and losing your job is one of the worst things that can happen to anyone, especially when unemployment is so high.
Research for the Department for Business (BIS) published in October 2011 asked 500 small and medium-sized businesses about their main obstacles to success. Just six per cent of small businesses listed regulation, or 'red tape', as their main barrier to growth.There is no evidence that a shorter qualifying period has led to job losses or has constrained recruitment. Since 1999 when the qualifying period was last reduced from two years to 12 months, more than 1,750,000 extra jobs have been created in the UK.
These changes are wrong and will do nothing to help deliver the growth in the economy that we all wish to see. Encouraging a 'hire and fire' culture will lead to the creation of insecure employment which is here today and gone tomorrow. The Government should be focussed on supporting working people through these tough economic times rather than pandering to the prejudices of backbench Conservative MPs

Yours sincerely
Rob Johnston

Regional Secretary
Midlands TUC
0121 236 4454

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