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unfair dismissal period set for extension

1 November 2010

The government is actively considering increasing the qualifying period for bringing an unfair dismissal back up from one year to two years service although the timetable for a decision has not yet been announced.

The likely rationale for such a change would appear to be to increase flexibilty in the workforce for employers and, as a result, to encourage employment opportunities. If the change occurs, it is moderately good news for employers offering an extra year in which, for example, they could dismiss for poor performance, minor misconduct or redundancy without the requirement of procedural or substantive fairness – but there may be increased allegations of discrimination (or other claims where no qualifying period is required, such as whistleblowing) by those who would otherwise have lost the right to claim unfair dismissal.

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