Government dilutes workers’ rights with a stroke of the pen, says furious Unite

The country's biggest union, Unite, reacted furiously to the move today by government to deny workers the right to take claims for unfair dismissal by their employer.

New regulations from the Business department – which have been quietly published with no proper announcement – raise the qualifying period for employees who wanted to challenge their sacking from one to two years.

Len McCluskey, Unite general secretary, said: "How will attacking workers' ability to secure justice create one single job? All it will do is create a hire and fire culture where bad employers cannot be challenged.

"When will this government understand that there is not a culture of "vexatious" claims? Proper checks and balances are in place to root out those cases. The vast majority of workers pursuing unfair dismissal are found to have valid claims.

"At a stroke of a pen, following a fraudulent consultation exercise whereby employers could "vote" for their least liked laws, a key defence against mistreatment is taken away from workers. And the government does not even have the decency to announce this properly. How can this be in 2011?

"Yet again, this government shows it has no care or concern for the lives of working people and listen only to those business powers who are sinisterly using this recession to make this country a very unhappy and unjust place for workers."


For further information, please contact Pauline Doyle on 07976 832 861

The Business department has just published a report on its deregulation progress "One-in, One-out: Second Statement of New Regulation". This includes within it the following decision:

§ Consulted on changes to employment law that will give business the confidence to take on staff. We are increasing the qualifying period for employees to be able to bring a claim for unfair dismissal from one to two years and introducing fees for lodging employment tribunal cases to tackle vexatious claims.