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In a bid to encourage businesses to employ more staff, the unfair dismissal laws have been changed as part of the government’s Employment Law Review. In 2010, the government announced the review in order to make it easier for employers to take on new staff and develop. The government also stated that they would make legislation less complex and reduce unnecessary red tape. One area to have been amended is the unfair dismissal law.

From 6th April 2012, an employee must have been employed by a business for a two year qualifying period, before being able to take an employer to a tribunal. The qualifying period is currently one year. This change forms part of the government’s workplace reforms and builds on measures published in the ‘Resolving Workplace Disputes’ in January 2011.

It is thought that the changes to the unfair dismissal laws will save businesses in the United Kingdom up to £6 million a year. Experts also believe that the number of claims for unfair dismissal will be reduced by approximately 2000 each year. Vince Cable, business secretary, hopes that the reforms to employment law will encourage businesses to recruit more staff. He commented that businesses feel that the unfair dismissal laws are a barrier to recruiting staff. Cable said;

“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.”

The government are continuing to review employment law.

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