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From 6 April 2012, the qualifying period for bringing an unfair dismissal claim has increased from one year to two years’ continuous employment. If you have recently been dismissed with over 1 year’s service but less than 2 years, you may still be eligible to bring a claim for unfair dismissal. The reforms do not act retrospectively. It is important to be clear on the date you started working for your employer. This date should be included within your contract of employment. Only employees starting to work for their employer after 6 April 2012 will have to complete the full 2 years of service before bringing a claim. For all other employees, the qualifying period remains the same; 1 year of continuous service.
The aim of this recent reform is to encourage recruitment and tip the balance in favour of the employer. As quoted by Vince Cable, unfair dismissal rules have become a “major barrier” to businesses taking on new staff. However, there is little evidence at this stage to suggest that increasing the qualifying period to 2 years will in any way encourage employers to recruit. Nor is it clear whether employees will be afforded any more protection against unscrupulous bosses taking advantage of the relaxation in employment laws.
Remember, some dismissals are automatically unfair regardless of how long the employee has been with the employer. To find out more about what constitutes automatic unfair dismissal, contact us.
Christine Land, Trainee Solicitor
If you want to discuss any of the above further, or want to find out how Croftons can help you, contact Christine direct.
Posted on 27.07.12
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