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Union anger over agency law loophole

CONSTRUCTION union UCATT is demanding the closure of a loophole in employment law that allows employers to dismiss safety reps if they are engaged through an employment agency.

The call came after an Employment Appeal Tribunal ruled against safety rep Dave Smith, who claimed he was unfairly dismissed by Costain after raising concerns about safety on an Essex site last year.

An employment tribunal originally ruled that Smith, although employed through an agency, was working for Costain and was unfairly dismissed.

That ruling was overturned last week.

A Ucatt spokesman said: 'In the short term, this case is an individual disappointment for Dave Smith but it could prove a significant and important decision in the long term, so we are opposing it.'