The threat of economic downturn and recession has been hanging over our heads for the last few years. Despite 'Quantitative Easing' (i.e. printing money), debt reduction, low interest rates, wage freezes etc nothing seems to kick-start our economy. Unemployment stands at 2.5 million with nearly a quarter of 16-24 year olds without jobs. Of course, this is mirrored across the Northern Hemisphere and, in Eurozone countries, compounded by an unworkable currency/system. So what is the UK's Coalition Government's 'Big Idea'? What is their proposed solution?
Latest Government Response
Supposedly, the reason why businesses are not taking on workers is because it is not easy enough to sack them! The Government's proposed Employer's Charter is designed to put this right by changing employees protection to qualify for bringing unfair dismissal claims from one to two years. Clearly that will mean a lower proportion of the workforce will be unable to claim compensation, let alone their job back, than now.
If that is not enough, they propose that workers must pay a deposit into an Employment Tribunal that will be forfeit in the event of loss. Many low paid workers wouldn't be able to even raise it. This will, as designed, mean an additional section of workers will be unable to seek satisfaction (Something our Union highlighted a few months ago*).
Moving the goal-posts
It is hard to believe that businesses are not taking on workers because they fear that they may suffer if they later dismiss them? After all, if a worker is not suitable for the position surely they will be 'found out' within the first year? The suggested deposit is supposed to stop 'frivolous' claims but is more likely to hit the low-paid.
Innocents will suffer
The proposed ConDem measures will mean all workers that have been unfairly dismissed between 1-2 years and many lowly paid ones will no longer be able to bring their case before a Tribunal. Solidarity General Secretary, Patrick Harrington said:
"The rights of workers are being sacrificed on a 'free market' alter. The reality is that it will make no impact on the economy. It will just encourage individual bad bosses not to follow fair procedures. The bosses who are unable to treat their workers fairly and with respect will not turn around our economy. Only when the creative input of workers is valued and acted on will we fully realise our potential as a nation. The ConDem coalition is fighting an outdated class war just as much as the Marxists. Give workers their rights and their due."
Solidarity is actively opposing the attack on our rights. We urge you to sign our petition at http://www.gopetition.com/petition/42665.html.
* See http://www.solidaritytradeunion.com/news-mainmenu-52/474-03102011-condem-attack-on-employment-rights
Contact: Solidarity General Secretary, Patrick Harrington on 07794 486858 or [email protected] & http://www.solidaritytradeunion.org
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