Redundancy talk period cut

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UNIONS have reacted angrily to news that the Government is cutting the timescale for opportunity for consultation on large-scale redundancies from 90 to 45 days.

The Government announced yesterday that the move will come into force in April next year.

Employment relations minister Jo Swinson said the move, and other changes, was aimed at helping workers and businesses.

But union chiefs have hit out, saying it shows “scant regard for workers’ rights”.

A spokesman for the Community union, which is involved in the handling of the 90 job losses at the 42-inch pipe mill at Tata Steel, in Hartlepool’s Brenda Road, said: “It’s not a move which is in any way justified and it’s not going to help resolve situations, it’s not going to create any more jobs, it’s only going to make life much more difficult for the unions and workers.”

Unison’s regional convenor Claire Williams said: “It is a cruel blow for workers and their families.

“This Tory-led Government is determined to show scant regard to the rights of workers, while ideologically driven to benefit employers and businesses.”

“Just as Christmas is about to arrive so is the message from the Government that they want to make it easier for employers to hire and fire staff.

“Workers in the public sector are already aware that their terms and conditions are at risk.

“News like this just puts more and more pressure on hard working people fearful of what lies ahead.”