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Employers must not be let off hook on equality breaches when axing jobs, says TUC Congress

14 September 2010 | last updated: 11 December 2015

The TUC today said laws protecting staff losing their jobs had to be toughened up. Delegates at the TUC Congress in Manchester unanimously passed a motion from UCU which called for stronger equality legislation to enforce employers to carry out rigorous impact assessments if seeking to axe jobs.

The union said that without full consideration and assessment, redundancy plans can impact on equality for staff and students. UCU used the example of many colleges and universities that were failing to carry out proper equality assessments, and warned that that the new Equality Act would continue to fail vulnerable workers. UCU said the legislation was too 'diluted' and failed to clearly lay out employers' responsibilities.
Speaking after the debate, UCU president, Alan Whitaker said: 'Too many employers are failing to carry out proper equality assessments before making job cuts and are being let off the hook. The new Equality Act simply isn't strong enough. There is not enough detail on employers' duties and this will pave the way for continued bad practice.
'It is essential that we campaign for more rigorous equality assessments across the public sector and that the government puts more pressure on bosses to have more robust procedures in places. We don't want a system of self regulation.'