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Do Unfair Dismissal Laws Protect Workers Or Stifle Growth?

Posted on the 26 October 2011 by Periscope @periscopepost
Job Centre Plus

A Job Centre Plus — will Conservative proposals for cutting back on redundancy laws lead to more — or less — employment? Photo Credit: Jovike,

A leaked review of Britain’s employment laws commissioned by David Cameron has branded the current unfair dismissal laws “terrible”, according to The Daily Telegraph. The report, penned by venture capitalist Adrian Beecroft, suggested replacing the current laws with a regulation called Compensated No Fault Dismissal that would compensate workers laid off for being unproductive with basic redundancy pay.

The leaked report has many up in arms; Liberal Democrat MP Norman Lamb has told BBC News that scrapping unfair dismissal laws would be “madness” in this economy, warning of the “potentially very damaging” effect on consumer confidence if job security were to be eroded.

Len McCluskey, general secretary of the Unite union said in a press release that the move was a “sop to the right wing of the Tory party” by Cameron in order to heal divisions caused by Monday’s Commons vote on the European Union.

A cynical move by the Conservatives. The Tory Party is run by “the rich and the elite” according to Paul Kenny, president of the GMB Union on Left-Wing blog Left Foot Forward, and they are trying to further their own interests at the expense of workers. Alex Hern for the blog opined that “slashing employment rights, to try and compete with those countries which have none, will not win us any business but just lose us the position that we fought so hard to gain.”

Unfair for employees. The Conservatives want to “tip the balance towards the employer”, adjudged Samira Shackle on The New Statesman’s The Staggers blog. “Such a change might make things easier for business, but would be an alarming assault on employee rights”, she claimed. Furthermore, she argued, the analysis is flawed because it “places too much weight upon the role of workers’ rights in rising unemployment (which is spurious, to say the least), and not enough on non-existent economic growth and government cuts.”

Scrap “complicated” rules to get business to hire more. The current rules “prevent British businesses from competing on a level playing field with international competitors” countered Right Wing political blog Guido Fawkes. It argued that it is “nearly impossible to sack a useless teacher” and that Liberal Democrat noise shows that they have “disproportionate” power in this coalition.

A plan for Britain’s growth. James Forsyth on The Spectator’s Coffee House blog argued that the report tests “the government’s willingness to put growth and jobs first.” He argued that replacing the old system with redundancy pay is a “sensible step” towards growth.

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