No Government decision on unfair dismissal claims
Wednesday 28 September 2011
The Government today insisted it had made no final decision on whether to increase the qualifying period for unfair dismissal claims from 12 months to two years and was still considering responses to a consultation.
The Business Department said there had been a "drafting error" in a document published earlier this week, which will now be re-issued.
"No final decision has been taken to increase the unfair dismissal qualifying period," said a spokesman.
Unions have attacked moves to increase the qualifying period for taking claims to an employment tribunal.
Len McCluskey, Unite's general secretary, said: "How will attacking workers' ability to secure justice create one single job? All it will do is create a hire and fire culture where bad employers cannot be challenged.
"When will this Government understand that there is not a culture of 'vexatious' claims? Proper checks and balances are in place to root out those cases. The vast majority of workers pursuing unfair dismissal are found to have valid claims."
Adam Marshall, director of policy at the British Chambers of Commerce, said: "The Government has made an important commitment to simplifying the tribunal system and ensuring employment law does not hinder growth.
"We support the proposals to extend the unfair dismissal period from one to two years, which will give confidence to those employers taking on a new staff member.
"The proposed reforms to the tribunal system will dissuade vexatious claims, freeing it up for those with genuine grievances.
"The current system wastes time and money and distracts employers from growing their businesses and creating much-needed jobs.
"We very much hope ministers will introduce these proposals at the earliest opportunity following the closure of the consultation."
A Unite spokesman said: "This Government must think working people are buttoned up the back. They will not believe Government's ludicrous claims for a moment.
"We know full well that the Government is doing business' bidding and systematically dismantling the few protections workers have."
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