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Rules for Unfair Dismissal Set to Change

Following the publishing in January of the ‘Resolving Workplace Disputes’ consultation, the Government today announced that the qualification period for the right to claim unfair dismissal will be extended from one to two years. 

This will come into force on 1 April 2012 and is the latest development in the Government’s workplace reforms which aim to increase business confidence to take on more workers. 

Business Secretary Vince Cable said:

“The priority of this government is to increase growth in our economy. We have one of the most flexible labour markets in the world but there is more we can do to give British business the confidence it needs to create more jobs and support the wider economy to grow.

“Businesses tell us that unfair dismissal rules are a major barrier to taking on more people. So today we have announced that only after working for the same employer for two years can an employee bring an unfair dismissal claim.”

In addition to supporting growth, it is estimated that this signficant change to UK Employment Law will see the number of unfair dismissal claims reduce by 2000 per year nationwide.

The Government also confirmed today that over the next three weeks the Red Tape Challenge will focus on more than 160 different cross-Government employment related regulations that businesses have to deal with in all areas of the workplace.

Examples of regulations which Government is seeking views on include the rules on collective redundancies, employment agencies, immigration checks, the National Minimum Wage and statutory sick pay, to make sure they are fit for purpose and easier for businesses to understand.

Will this latest change create an environment in which the order books of UK business suddenly errupt giving Employers an immediate need to employee new staff, or are there more fundamental issues at the heart of the current economic climate that must be addressed first?

Tell us what you think, is this a positive example of central Government helping the business community or are there other, more important things Government could do to help small and medium sized businesses?

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