Government urged to think again on employment law changes

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date: 22 November 2011

embargo: 00.01hrs Wednesday 23 November 2011

Commenting on the speech being made later today (Wednesday) by Employment Secretary Vince Cable on the changes the government plans to make to employment regulation, TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said:

'Reducing protection for people at work will not save or create a single job. It's not employment law that is holding firms back, it's the tough economic climate and the problems many companies are having getting the banks to lend to them that's to blame. Research from the OECD shows that there is no link between regulation and economic output - German employees have much more protection at work and their economy is the strongest in Europe.

'At a time when thousands of jobs are under threat as a result of the government's austerity programme, reducing the time that organisations have to consult with their employees whose jobs are at risk of redundancy flies in the face of good sense. The move will have little impact on the company but it will make a huge difference to staff worried about their futures, increasing their stress at what can be a hugely traumatic time.

'Although unions will welcome any moves to improve the chances of disputes being resolved within the workplace, the idea that every year employment tribunals are presented with lots of trivial claims is nonsense. Tribunals already have solid procedures for rooting out weak claims.

'Allowing conversations that happen at work over difficult issues like retirement or poor performance to take place but not permitting their record to be referred to in the future, should a case ever go to tribunal, is hugely worrying. This could simply provide the perfect cover for rogue bosses to bully at whim without fear of ever being found out.'

NOTES TO EDITORS:

- All TUC press releases can be found at www.tuc.org.uk

Contacts:

Media enquiries:
Liz Chinchen T: 020 7467 1248 M: 07778 158175 E: media@tuc.org.uk
Rob Holdsworth T: 020 7467 1372 M: 07717 531150 E: rholdsworth@tuc.org.uk
Elly Gibson T: 020 7467 1337 M: 07900 910624 E: egibson@tuc.org.uk

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