Unions angered by change to dismissal and retirement rights


Trade unions aim to challenge a change to dismissal and retirement rights that took effect on 1 January. This was a last-minute change introduced by the government as part of a new package of measures in response to the COVID-19 crisis. The legislation means that employers can now dismiss without justification any worker who reaches state pension age. The unions have attacked the change on several grounds. It was introduced without any due process of social dialogue; it is a permanent change rather than part of a temporary response to the pandemic; it flies in the face of many efforts in recent years to extend working lives; it is discriminatory on the basis of age; and it fails to address the potential, significant impact on the state budget. The unions are calling for a legal review, will be in contact with the European Commission and the European trade union movement and are committed to defend any member sacked as a result of the new law.

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