Unions have reacted furiously to report from Tory Party financier calling for scrapping of key employment rights
Unions have reacted furiously to draft proposals from a leading Tory-party financier that the Coalition should scrap consultations on redundancy and allow employers to fire staff ‘at will’.
The report also recommends scrapping TUPE regulations, which protect workers’ pay and pension rights if their jobs are transferred to a new employer, or privatised.
According to a leaked copy of the 24-page draft report by venture capitalist, Adrian Beecroft, entitled simply Report on Employment Law, current employment regulations ‘exacerbate the national problem of high unemployment’.
The document, which is dated 12th October 2011, is said to have been “buried” at Business Secretary Vince Cable’s department for some time, but was expected to be published later this week.
TUC general secretary, Brendan Barber said: “Rather than bold policies for investment and growth, the best that ministers can do is half-baked proposals to make it easier to sack people.
The premature leak of the report has been described ironically by some as a ‘farewell gift’ from the departing Downing Street policy guru, Steve Hilton.
Unite has branded the Beecroft report ‘the worst attack on our employment rights in a generation’ and has urged the Business Secretary to do everything in his power to stop the recommendations ever becoming law.
Critics say the contents of the leaked version of the Beecroft report would encourage sex discrimination, attack vulnerable workers and even relax rules on child labour.
Unite general secretary, Len McCluskey said:
“Beecroft’s proposals would be disastrous for the economy.
“They will not create a single job.
“It is a charter for rogue bosses to make life even worse for working people in austerity Britain.
“If the recommendations in this report become law it will turn the clock back on decades of progress. This is not a growth strategy it is the worst attack on our employment rights in a generation.
“Beecroft is a venture capitalist who profits from sub prime loans to needy people. He hasn’t got a single idea how to create jobs.
“All his proposals will do is increase insecurity and fear, creating a revolving door with people constantly moving in and out of work.”
The RMT says Adrian Beeton is being used by Prime Minister David Cameron as an ‘out-rider for attacking worker’s rights’ in the same way that it says Sir Roy McNulty was tasked with devising deep cuts to the UK rail infrastructure.
RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: “It is no surprise that a venture capitalist, Tory-funder and Cameron buddy like Beecroft would recommend taking an axe to every last shred of protection that workers have from bad bosses.
“He comes from an industry that treats people as nothing more than profit-making serfs who can be chewed up and spat out at will.
“All the signs are that this government of the rich for the rich is winding up for an all-out assault on redundancy, equalities and worker’s transfer rights.
“RMT works in industries where franchise transfers, takeovers and company collapses are a way of life.
“This government, and their big business allies, are determined to rip away even the tattered safety net which offers our members some limited protection. They will have an almighty fight on their hands.”
The Business Secretary, writing in the anti-union Sun newspaper, described as “complete nonsense” the suggestion in the Beeton Report job creation could be improved by stripping out workers’ remaining employment rights.
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