Qualifying Period for Unfair Dismissal IncreasesSaturday, February 18th, 2012
On 27 January 2011, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Tribunals Service published a joint consultation document entitled ‘Resolving workplace disputes: A consultation’. This set out the latest Government proposals for reforming employment laws. The consultation closed on 20 April 2011. The intention of the reforms is to deliver ‘a flexible, effective and fair labour market’
These new proposals are set against a backdrop of an ever increasing number of Tribunal claims – 236,000 in 2010 – with average costs to businesses of £3,800 per claim, plus costs to the taxpayer of a further £1,900.
The Government published its response in November 2011 and the proposals included the intention to increase the unfair dismissal qualification period from one to two years. Currently, it is generally only an employee with one year’s continuous service who can claim unfair dismissal and request a written statement from the employer detailing the reasons for the dismissal.
The draft Statutory Instrument which will effect this change was published this month. This amends the following sections of the Employment Rights Act 1996:
- Section 108 ‘Qualifying Period of Employment’, and
- Section 92 ‘Right to Written Statement of Reasons for Dismissal’
For employees employed on or after 06 April 2012, they will generally have to have two year’s continuous service before making a claim for unfair dismissal. For employees employed on or before 05 April 2012, the continuous employment rule remains as one year.
This sounds like another administration burden to me, this time for our Human Resources colleagues.
- The Unfair Dismissal and Statement of Reasons for Dismissal (Variation of Qualifying Period) Order 2012
- Payroll Help 26 November 2011 – Employment Law Reforms
- BIS – Resolving Workplace Disputes: Government Response to the consultation