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Posted by on in Unfair Dismissal
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Unfair dismissal reforms will leave many workers without rights, says TUC

Government plans to extend the qualifying period for protection against unfair dismissal from one year to two will affect nearly three million workers, the TUC has said in its submission to the government's review of the employment tribunal system.


The TUC submission says that while more needs to be done to speed up tribunal claims, the government is seeking to do this by restricting access to justice and pricing low-paid vulnerable workers out of the system.


The TUC firmly opposes plans to introduce fees for those wishing to take their employers to employment tribunals, and says that this will have a disproportionate impact on low paid workers.


The TUC cites government data showing that young people, ethnic minorities and female part-time workers will be most affected by plans to remove unfair dismissal rights from staff with less than two years' service. Extending the qualifying period for unfair dismissal will simply lead to more discrimination claims, causing extra confusion for employers and staff, and adding to the workload of an already over-stretched tribunal service, the TUC says.


The submission says that cases can be speeded up by giving more resources to the tribunal system, improving the enforcement of multiple pay claims and extending Acas' pre-claim conciliation service. The TUC is concerned however that the government's plans could undermine the impartiality and effectiveness of this service.


The TUC supports the imposition of automatic penalties for employers who breach an individual's employment rights but believes that sanctions should be paid directly to the claimant, rather than to the Treasury.


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