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A rogues’ charter - Citizens Advice verdict on employment announcement

23 November 2011

Plans unveiled by Business Secretary Vince Cable today to water down workplace rights protecting millions of British workers against exploitation have been branded a ‘rogues’ charter’ by Citizens Advice.

The charity’s national network of Citizens Advice Bureaux helps with nearly 600,000 employment related problems every year.  Most of those seeking advice are low-paid, low-skilled workers employed in small, non-unionised workplaces.

Citizens Advice Chief Executive Gillian Guy said:

"Ministers have said they want to create a level playing field that is fair to workers and decent employers alike. But tearing up employment protection will not stop rogue employers gaining an unfair advantage over law-abiding competitors by exploiting their workforce.

"Doubling the qualifying time for legal protection against unfair dismissal to two years will make the jobs of three million workers even more insecure than they are already. Together with the introduction of hefty fees to take a case to an employment tribunal, it’s nothing short of a charter for rogue employers."

Notes to editors:

  1. The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local bureaux, all of which are independent charities, the Citizens Advice consumer service and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more see the Citizens Advice website.
  2. The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential, and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
  3. To find your local bureau in England and Wales, visit citizensadvice.org.uk. You can also get advice online at adviceguide.org.uk
  4. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers
  5. Citizens Advice Bureaux in England and Wales advised 2.3 million clients on 5.4 million problems from October 2013 to September 2014. For full 2013/2014  service statistics see our quarterly publication Advice trends
  6. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 21,000 trained volunteers, working at over 3,000 service outlets across England and Wales.