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Changes to the unfair dismissal tribunal system

Many firms feel that the employment law regime is weighted against them. So a new government announcement on the way that claims for unfair dismissal are made may come as welcome news.

The Government has said that it wants to see the qualifying time for bringing a claim for unfair dismissal raised from one to two years of employment. Any employee making a claim may also be obliged to lodge a fee before the case can proceed.

A government spokesman explained: “We’ve heard loud and clear the concerns from businesses up and down the country that the system has become too costly, takes too much time, and that it is too easy to make vexatious claims.”

It is hoped that, by doubling the qualifying period for unfair dismissal claims, the number of cases going to tribunal will be reduced.

Other proposals include first-stage compulsory mediation stage for workplace disputes through the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas).

However, the plans only extend to claims for unfair dismissal and not to other issues, such as discrimination, for which employers can be taken to an employment tribunal.