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New unfair dismissal rules 'will hit 3m workers'

Tuesday 19 April 2011 by Gina Le Prevost

Individuals in accounting jobs may be among those negatively affected by changes to the laws regarding unfair dismissal, as the Trades Union Congress (TUC) has warned they could leave up to three million people with fewer rights.

The plans to increase the minimum qualifying period for legal protection from one to two years of employment will hit younger workers and those in part-time employment the hardest, according to the group.

It stated that almost 60 per cent of those aged under 24 have less than two years service in their current job, while nearly a third of part-time staff will also be affected.

General secretary of the TUC Brendan Barber said: "While everyone wants to see a quicker and more efficient tribunal system, taking away people's rights and pricing vulnerable workers out of the system is the worst possible way to achieve this."

He added that the government should instead be focussed on resolving disputes before they reach court as part of its reforms.

Earlier this month, the TUC claimed that plans to cut £81 billion from public spending would have a "devastating impact" on many workers.