The new ConDem Government is beginning to turn the screw on ordinary people and follow a Tory ideological aversion (with Lib Dem support) to employee rights.
They are proposing (under an aptly named Employers Charter) to 'raise the bar' for protection against unfair dismissal from one years service to two. This was changed to one from two years over ten years ago (June 1999).
Solidarity Trade Union believes this to be retrograde step. It will result in thousands of more workers being dismissed unfairly and there will be little they can do about it. This is admitted by the Government who say they wish to reduce the number of cases that are brought to Employment Tribunals (236,000 claims in 2010).
They are also proposing to force those who will still be able to claim to lodge a deposit of cash - a 'bond' - into Court to be forfeited in the event they lose their case. Many low paid workers will not be able to afford such a deposit and will have to give up.
General Secretary Patrick Harrington says "Claims that business is stifled by Tribunal cases are bogus. Employers will only take on staff if they believe there is a growing market for the company's services. In any case, any employer who doesn't know whether an employee is capable after one-year shouldn't be in business! In reality the Government sees these measures as a way of paying back their big-business backers post election. Solidarity however will not take this lying down and we will be launching a campaign in support of retaining existing employment rights."
To launch such a campaign they have organised a petition against the years increase and the proposed bond see Oppose ConDem anti-worker Employment law changes at http://www.gopetition.com/petition/42665.html
"We the undersigned are extremely disturbed to hear that the Government is supporting measures that we regard as threatening employees fundamental rights.
Under their proposed Employers Charter they will increase the period an employee has to serve before they can be protected by Employment Law from one year to two years. This will mean that more employees can be dismissed with impunity.
Another proposal is that, for those who will still be able to take a case of unfair dismissal to a Tribunal, a deposit of cash will have to be lodged in Court to be forfeit in the event of defeat. This will hit hard many low(?) paid workers who will simply not have the means and therefore will been unable to obtain their employment rights.
These hard fought for rights should be 'ring-fenced' from change so that Unfair Dismissal protection remains at one years service and there should remain no fee/deposit necessary for Claimants at Tribunals."
Contact: Solidarity General Secretary, Patrick Harrington on 07794 486858 or firstname.lastname@example.org & http://www.solidaritytradeunion.org
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