Plans to extend the qualifying period for protection against unfair dismissal will affect the rights of millions of employees, a union has warned.
Young people, ethnic minorities and part-time women workers would be most affected by the plans to remove unfair dismissal rights from staff with less than two years' service, according to the TUC.
The union has also attacked plans to introduce fees for employees taking a claim to a tribunal, saying it would have a disproportionate effect on low-paid workers.
In its submission to the government, the TUC said cases could be speeded up by giving more resources to the tribunal system, improving the enforcement of multiple pay claims and extending a pre-claim conciliation service offered by Acas.
TUC General Secretary, Brendan Barber, said: "While everyone wants to see a quicker and more efficient tribunal system, taking away people's rights and pricing vulnerable workers out of the system is the worst possible way to achieve this.
"The proposals to restrict protection against unfair dismissal will not only hit young people and female part-time employees the hardest, but will also open the door to more discrimination claims, creating confusion for staff and employers alike."
Copyright © Press Association 2011
Your comments (terms and conditions apply):
"It is currently far too easy for an employee to take their employer to tribunal. We read every week of employers who are pressurised into paying off an employee as it is cheaper than going through with the tribunal. In most intances this is even though the employer has a cast iron case. Small companies have the potential of losing their business due to a
tribunal pay out. Clearly GP practices are small companies. Employers who follow disciplinary rules thoroughly to effectively manage staff in their businesses should be able to do so without fear of a totally unjustified tribunal claim. I wholeheartedly agree with the plans put forward to tighten up the rules for getting to tribunal. I also feel that the tribunal should have greater jurisdiction to throw out cases which are clearly wasting everyones' time and money. With the removal of the default retirement age we will see a substantial rise in tribunal cases in the near future if radical changes are not made soon" – Name and address withheld