Unions fear introduction of mini ‘jobs’

By Charles Maggs

The TUC (Trade Union Congress) has condemned what is sees as attempts within government to introduce German-style 'mini jobs'.

Mini jobs have existed in Germany for many years and allow companies to employ workers earning up to 400 euros a month tax free. The employees can be dismissed at short notice.

Supporters of mini jobs claim that they helped to halve youth unemployment, but the TUC has questioned their success.

They say that of the 500,000 new jobs that have been accredited to the scheme, only 86,000 are genuinely new jobs, with the rest being transferred from other low-paid jobs.

"Given that mini-jobs have failed to create genuinely new employment, can trap people in low-paid work and provide the kind of tax breaks that already exist in the UK, it is curious to see them gaining such support amongst Conservative MPs," the TUC report says.

"At a time when low wages and job insecurity pose a major threat to economic recovery prospects, encouraging low-paid, vulnerable jobs is the exact opposite of what the UK economy needs."

The idea of bringing the tax free jobs to the UK was floated by the Beecroft report published in May this year, when venture capitalist Adrian Beecroft was commissioned by the government to improve employment legislation

Introducing mini jobs to the UK is supported by the Free Enterprise Group of Conservative MPs, but Vince Cable poured cold water over the idea when the report was published.