Leaked government report written by Tory donor and venture capitalist proposes getting rid of unfair dismissal rights


Unions have queued to condemn a government report that recommends scrapping the right to claim unfair dismissal.

The leaked report, commissioned by prime minister David Cameron, was written by Conservative Party donor and venture capitalist Adrian Beecroft.

GMB general secretary Paul Kenny said: “That a well-heeled Tory venture capitalist should want the Tories to make it easier for workers to be sacked without comeback does not surprise GMB after what the private equity owners did at the AA. They want this to be the model across the economy.

“At AA they were brutal in sacking 4,000 of the 10,000 AA workers without mercy when they took over. They targeted AA workers all across the UK especially those sick and disabled. They put up a sum of £18,000 to go quietly or face the threat of being “performance managed” out the door with no compensation.  Not many stood up to them as they also de-recognized GMB. They are still doing it today having saddled AA with £5 billion debts as they made off with £300m for themselves.

“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. Their excesses led to the 2.57m people now without work across the UK.

“Instead Tories attack the rights of ordinary working people not to be deprived of their incomes without good reason. What a shameless shower the elite have turned out to be that they are prepared to scrap the right that a fair process is followed when a worker faces the ultimate economic sanction of having their incomes taken away.”

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: ‘It can’t be any coincidence that this sop to the right wing of the Tory party comes just 24 hours after the Prime Minister faced a massive revolt by his backbenchers demanding a referendum on Europe.

“It is despicable that this government seeks to appease its voracious right wing by promising to crush any powers to defend themselves that workers in this country may have left.

“UK workers are already the cheapest and easiest to sack in the European Union. Now David Cameron plans to take the nation further back to the dark days of ‘hire-and-fire.’ That is not in any way a plan for growth – it’s a pathway to workplace misery and a demoralised and less productive workforce.

“This is a government in thrall to its vested interests – a rabid business lobby and an-out of-control right wing of the Tory party. With every day they remain in office, this country becomes a more unhappy and unequal place.

“As those who study the evidence on industrial tribunals know, the system works extremely well to root out so-called vexatious claims. Continuous peddling of poisonous myths by the likes of Mr Beecroft does not make these distortions true.”

And 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.

“But while this proposal does nothing for growth, it does show the kind of economy those close to the Prime Minister want to create – one in which nasty bosses are given full license to undermine those trying to maintain decent standards.

“The clue is in the name. Employers already have plenty of powers to make fair dismissals. Giving them the right to act unfairly may go down well on the backbenches, but will horrify employees.”

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