Denham sounds alarm on government’s plans to reduce employment protection rights

Southampton Itchen Labour MP John Denham has expressed his deep concern at proposals from the Tory-led government to water down people’s employment rights and will vote against them in the House of Commons.

John is concerned that the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill that is going through Parliament will strip workers of vital employment protections.

This ERR bill will:

  • Water down the rights of all employees in this country;
  • The time an employee is required to be employed before they are able to claim for unfair dismissal has already been raised from one year to two, and now these proposals will reduce the amount of compensation unfairly dismissed workers can receive;
  • Reduce protections for whistleblowers at work, and
  • The government will also allow employers to make minimal offers to workers to leave, then gag those same workers from even mentioning this at employment tribunal.

At a time when 2.7 million are unemployed the Government is making the completely wrong judgment in wanting to make it easier to fire rather than hire people.  Slashing employee rights is no substitute for a proper growth strategy.

The economy is in recession not from the UK’s employment law regime but because the Tories and Lib Dems are cutting spending and raising taxes too far and too fast, hitting business confidence and choking off growth.

Not content with action that will leave thousands in fear for their jobs – the government’s bill will also abolish the Human Rights Commission’s duty to promote a society free of discrimination.  It is disgraceful that Ministers should pretend abolishing action to end discrimination should be part of anything called an ‘enterprise’ bill.

John Denham said:

“My position is very clear – I will be voting against the Bill this week.

“We do not want to make it easier for bosses to sack people, we want to make it easier for firms to hire.  Nothing less than real action to help the economy will do, and sweeping aside workers rights is only going to make things much, much worse.

“The Government doesn’t understand that removing the rights of workers will only increase job insecurity which is likely to have a damaging effect on workforce morale and productivity.

“It is ironic that while people in Southampton are taking positive action to get more people into work at the Solent Jobs Fair today, the Tory-led coalition seems to be doing its best to reduce the number of working people nationwide.”

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