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Changes to redundancy laws 'could increase unemployment'

22 Feb 2012

Plans to reduce workers’ rights to be consulted during instances of collective redundancy risk damaging morale and increasing unemployment, the TUC has warned.

Under existing legislation, employers who are looking to make more than 100 workers redundant must allow a consultation period of at least 90 days.

The Government is currently considering reducing this time period, in order to reduce costs and simplify the redundancy process for employers.

However, the TUC believes that effective negotiations between unions and employers can deliver ‘genuine benefits’, resulting in fewer job losses and increased redeployment, and helping to avoid compulsory redundancies.

Brendan Barber, TUC General Secretary, said, ‘Rather than cutting back on consultation rights, now is the time for ministers to strengthen collective redundancy arrangements and protect working people and employers’.

Meanwhile, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has called on the Government to press ahead with the changes, arguing that the collective redundancy rules are ‘archaic and damaging’ to UK firms.

John Longworth, BCC Director General, said, ‘Businesses need confidence that when redundancies are necessary to save the business, and hundreds of other jobs, they can be conducted in a swift and fair manner, rather than stringing out the process to hit an arbitrary 90 day time period’.