The qualifying period for protection from unfair dismissal from one year to two years coming into effect from 6th April Good Friday, is going to put around 2.7 million workers across the UK to increased risk of losing their jobs.
The Trade Union release has warned that this change in the law would also increase job insecurity, discriminate against younger workers, part time women workers and employees from black and ethnic communities, and would encourage hire and fire culture in the UK.
On the other side the government argued that the diluting the unfair dismissal rights would help boost recruitment as the companies would grow.
Though the qualifying period for unfair dismissal rights in the UK has fluctuated over time, the TUC believes that there was no heard-fast rule that shorter qualifying period has led to job losses or has constrained recruitment. Since 1999 when the qualifying period was last reduced from two years to 12 months, more than 1,750,000 extra jobs have been created in the UK.
This change in the law is also not a top priority for businesses. The union said that the Small Business Barometer commissioned by the Department for Business (BIS) and published in October 2011 had conducted a survey where 500 small and medium-sized businesses were asked about their main obstacles to success.
The majority of them said that the biggest problem was the state of the economy, and other problem was obtaining finance from the banks. Then came taxation, cash flow and competition. Just six per cent of small businesses listed regulation, or ‘red tape’, as their main barrier to growth.
TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said the government’s proposals to weaken unfair dismissal rights would promote a ‘hire and fire’ culture in the UK and will lead to the creation of insecure employment with no guarantee.