Thursday, 2 February 2012

UNISON warning over threat to employment rights

Thu 2 Feb 2012
UNISON, the UK’s leading public service union, is urging the government to resist calls from big business to weaken employment rights, warning that it would have a damaging effect on the UK’s workplaces – for both employer and employee.

In a submission to the Department of Business Innovation and Skills’ (BIS) consultation into TUPE* - regulations that protect employees' terms and conditions when a business or service is transferred from one owner to another – UNISON warns that rolling back the regulations would see legal costs rise and disputes increase.  TUPE not only gives employers time to consider more cost-effective in-house solutions, but gives staff time to consider their options.

Bronwyn McKenna, UNISON Assistant General Secretary, said:

“UNISON is calling on the government to resist big business’ calls and give it’s backing to both workers and employers, by safeguarding TUPE. Rolling back this vital transfer protection would see disputes rise and legal actions increase. This would be counterproductive, costing businesses more than the savings some are claiming could be made by watering down the rules.

“TUPE not only creates a level playing field, the regulations also provide real clarity for both worker and employer. We are urging the government not to weaken this vital protection. It could see employees stripped of their rights, with employers permitted to reduce pay, impose less favourable terms and conditions or sack staff once they’ve been transferred.”

*TUPE – Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) regulations.


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