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Law change ‘puts 2.7m jobs at risk’

Law change ‘puts 2.7m jobs at risk’

The Government’s decision to extend the qualifying period for protection from unfair dismissal from one to two years has put 2.7 million jobs at risk, the TUC has claimed.

The TUC said the legislation change could lead to the prevalence of a ‘hire-and-fire’ culture, which could harm job security. It believes that younger workers, female employees working part-time and people from ethnic communities could be hardest hit by the measure. There are serious implications for temporary or part-time workers – of which there are 2.7 million in the UK – as they risk not being able to take advantage of dismissal protections, the TUC added.

The organisation also pointed out that 1.7 million extra jobs have been created since 1999 – the last time the qualifying period was changed – which suggests that having a shorter qualification period has not stifled the job market.

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said:

“The Government’s proposals to weaken unfair dismissal rights risk generating a hire-and-fire culture in the UK and will lead to the creation of insecure employment which is here today and gone tomorrow.

“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.

“Businesses have told the Government that above all they need the economy to be growing and the banks to get lending again. The Government appears to be reacting to pressure from backbench Conservative MPs rather than actual business concerns.”

IBB’s Employment Team provides advice on the employment aspects of all major business decisions. To contact a member of the team for advice, call us on 01895 207892 or email employment@ibblaw.co.uk