Think-Tank Call to Axe Job Laws; CAREERS

Article excerpt

Byline: SUSAN GRAY

SACKING employees or making them redundant is too difficult, according to economist Warwick Lightfoot.

Speaking for Politeia, a right-wing think-tank, he says legislation on redundancy, unfair dismissal and industrial tribunals makes it expensive for

companies and employees to part.

Lightfoot suggests legislation on

redundancy and unfair dismissal should be swept away, leaving it to individual workers and bosses to hammer out contracts covering what should happen if a job ends.

He says: `It would be up to employers, employees and unions to respond to complete freedom of contract in a way that suits them. Some employ-ers would want to provide generous

redundancy terms.'

He feels complicated rules make employers cautious. Small businesses in particular are reluctant to take on staff, because they have no time to wade through employment regulations and fear becoming embroiled in tribunal hearings.

Lightfoot says funding the likes of

tribunals through taxation is a burden on business and decreases job availability.

He concedes that workers in large companies with contracts negotiated through collective bargaining do well from

employment legislation, but at the cost of `the most vulnerable sections of the workforce'. …