A quarter of workers have no protection from unfair dismissal, according to a TUC report.
One in four workers in the UK has no protection from unfair dismissal, according to analysis by the TUC.
The TUC says the right to protection from unfair dismissal should be a day one right. Under current law workers must be employed for two years to qualify.
It points out that it is people working in industries that have been hit hardest by the pandemic – such as hospitality and retail – who are most at risk, given nearly half (45%) of hospitality staff and a third (32%) of people working in the retail, wholesale and vehicle repair sector don’t qualify for unfair dismissal rights.
The TUC says BAME and young workers are most at risk of not being protected from unfair dismissal, estimating that over half (56%) of 20-24 year-olds and two-fifths (40%) of 25-29 year-olds and a third of BAME workers have no protection from unfair dismissal [compared to a quarter of white workers]. Again, these groups have been hard hit by redundancies during the pandemic.
The analysis shows that even returning to the previous qualifying period for unfair dismissal of 12 months [which was increased to two years in 2012] would benefit 3.6 million workers – including around a million workers in health and social care and the wholesale and retail sectors.
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “The government must do everything possible to stop mass unemployment.
“This includes strengthening protections at work so people can’t be sacked unfairly. No-one should be treated like disposable labour.
“If the government is serious about levelling up Britain it must level up workers’ rights – not water down hard-won rights from the EU.
“People shouldn’t have to wait for two years to be protected from unfair dismissal. They should be day one rights for everybody.”
In addition the TUC wants a ban on zero-hours contracts, a default right to work flexibly from the first day in the job, with all jobs advertised as flexible, better quality jobs and the establishment of a national recovery council to steer the recovery effort.