UK workers face more job losses than continental peers

Workers’ rights in the UK lag behind those of almost every other European country, causing greater numbers of job losses here, according to union leaders.

Established information and consultation rights and stronger redundancy protection in the rest of Europe are making UK workers more vulnerable when multinationals come to make job cuts, Amicus warned today.

The union says that UK employee protection is the weakest in Europe and, among the richest industrialised nations, only the US has weaker job protection.

The UK has the highest number of redundancies in Europe, figures show. Of the 69 restructuring cases recorded by the European Restructuring Monitor for the UK, 57 involved job losses in excess of 100 – the highest rate in all the 18 EU countries monitored.

Derek Simpson, Amicus general secretary, said: “In an increasingly global economy, multinational companies will always chose to make job cuts where it is cheaper, quicker and more politically expedient to sack.

“The ‘flexible workforce’ makes no sense – it just enables quality jobs to be easily disposed of, resulting in a de-skilling of the economy.

“Unless we have employment protection parity with other European countries, UK workers will continue to be the soft touch when it comes to slashing jobs,” Simpson added.

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