Extension of qualifying period for claiming unfair dismissal to two years

The qualifying period for the right to claim unfair dismissal will be extended from one to two years. This will come into force in April 2012. This comes as part of the Government’s latest workplace reforms which aim to increase businesses’ confidence to take on more workers.

Although certain business groups have welcomed the move, others have expressed concern that the change may result in an increase in the number of discrimination claims, for which there is no qualifying period.

The Government has claimed that increasing the qualifying period to two years along with other proposals in the ‘Resolving Workplace Disputes’ consultation is likely to see the number of unfair dismissal claims drop by approximately 2,000 per year. Other proposals set out in the consultation included a fee for lodging tribunal claims. In support of this, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, during his speech to the Conservative party conference earlier this week, indicated that fees for Employment Tribunal claims will be introduced from April 2013.

Dion McCarthy, Trainee Solicitor

dmccarthy@astonbond.co.uk