STUC Appalled at Latest Attack on UK Employment Rights

March 13th 2012

The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) has challenged the latest attack by the United Kingdom Government on the employment rights as the Con-Lib Coalition Government seek to increase the qualifying period for unfair dismissal from twelve months to two years and abolish the participation of lay members on employment tribunals.

Grahame Smith, STUC General Secretary said,

“Following straight on from the closure of consultation on proposals to charge fees for employment tribunals we are now seeing a further attack on employment rights, attacks that will undoubtedly impact more on women, young people, Black Minority Ethnic (BME) workers and other groups with shorter work histories .

“The Government’s assertion that the increase in the qualifying period to two years will increase economic growth is, in our view, without foundation and we can find no evidence to support this assertion. This is purely and simply an attack on worker’s rights.

“Equally, the moves to reduce lay members involvement in employment tribunal cases, seeks to undermine our tribunal system where the tried and tested tripartite “industrial jury” is widely trusted by claimants and respondents alike.

“The STUC is deeply concerned that the Liberal Democrat members of the coalition are aligning themselves to action of the kind we would normally expect from their Conservative partners.

“Vince Cable, the business secretary has previously admitted that the UK has a reasonable balance between rights and flexibility, and we would urge Liberal Democrat members on the Delegate Legislation Committee to remember this and vote with their conscience and defeat these proposals at the meeting tomorrow.

“To do anything otherwise will swing the balance significantly in the favour of employers and deny workers their rights and access to justice.”

Ends

For Further information, please contact

Ian Tasker, Assistant Secretary STUC Tel: 0141 337 8100

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