Nine Proposals for the Reform of the Law on Unfair Dismissal

To what extent does the UK framework of law protect against unfair dismissal and how can the law be improved?

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About the book

The law of unfair dismissal is based on an internationally recognised social right not to be unfairly dismissed. But to what extent does the UK framework of law protect that social right? Have developments in common law introduced unjustifiable limits on the statutory protection against unfair dismissal? How can our laws be improved to ensure UK workers are treated with respect and not as a “commodity”?

This publication examines the strengths and weakness of the current law, including the proposals contained in the Employment Act 2002. It highlights nine areas where the legislation fails to adequately protect the social right and sets out a clear and realistic agenda for reform.

The author looks at extending protection to the wider category of “worker”; of eliminating the one-year qualifying period and extending protection to all, regardless of age. He argues for the elimination of the judge-made doctrine of “frustration” which can leave the most vulnerable workers without compensation for dismissal. He tackles the thorny issue of the statutory test of fairness and the narrow way in which it is interpreted by the courts. Levels of compensation and more effective punitive sanctions against employers are discussed as well as ways of improving the statutory disciplinary procedures introduced by the Employment Act 2002.


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