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employment law shake up

23 November 2011

After much debate the Government have today announced proposals and further consultations affecting many areas of employment law. The key areas are:

  • Unfair dismissal qualifying period will increase to two years.
  • It will be compulsory for all claims to be lodged with ACAS prior to the Tribunal so that a conciliated resolution can be attempted.
  • Employment judges will have discretion to impose financial penalties on employers who breach employee’s rights.

There will also be a fundamental review of the employment tribunal rules of procedure led by the President of the Employment Appeal Tribunal.

In his speech announcing these plans, Vince Cable was clear that the reforms were intended to stop employment law being a barrier to employers growing their business. Tribunals should be a last resort for resolving workplace problems. Whether the proposals will have the desired effect remains to be seen.

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