Fury at plan to make sacking easier
Unions have angrily attacked the Government over a report it commissioned which said companies should be able to sack unproductive staff without explanation, warning that the move would "horrify" workers.
The right to claim unfair dismissal should be scrapped to free up business and boost economic growth, according to the controversial findings of venture capitalist and Tory donor Adrian Beecroft.
He suggested a dramatic overhaul of UK employment laws, claiming that incapable workers were being left to "coast along" and that firms feared expanding because new staff may prove "unknown quantities" who were impossible to sack.
The document, dated October 12, said the first major issue for British enterprise was the "terrible impact of the current unfair dismissal rules on the efficiency and hence competitiveness of our businesses, and on the effectiveness and cost of our public services".
TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: "Scrapping protection against unfair dismissal, even for people who have given years of loyal service, will do absolutely nothing to boost the economy. Indeed, if people are constantly in fear of losing their jobs, it will lead consumers to spend even less."
Paul Kenny, general secretary of the GMB union, said: "This report shows the true face of the nasty Tory Party who are, in fact, the political wing of the rich and the elite. That is why Tories have yet to make any move to curb the greed of bankers and financiers who had to be bailed out with billions of pounds of public funds."
Mr Beecroft said managers in the public sector had been forced to offer under-performing staff large settlements because they feared costly tribunal rulings.
"A proportion of employees, secure in the knowledge that their employer will be reluctant to dismiss them, work at a level well below their true capacity; they coast along," said the report.
Mr Beecroft argued that there was nothing in European law that would prevent the Government abandoning unfair dismissal laws.
He suggested replacing it with Compensated No Fault Dismissal, which would allow employers to sack unproductive staff with basic redundancy pay and notice.