At the Conservative Party conference yesterday, the Chancellor announced two significant changes in relation to tribunal claims, following the consultation "Resolving Workplace Disputes", which was published at the beginning of the year. On the presumption that these announcements are accurate, the law will be amended as follows.

Unfair dismissal claims

With effect from 6 April 2012, the qualifying period for unfair dismissal claims will increase from one to two years.

Tribunal claim fee

A fee for bringing an employment tribunal claim will be introduced in April 2013. Although there has already been press speculation as to the amount of the fee and how it will operate, this will be subject to consultation, which is due to start by the end of November 2011.

"Red Tape Challenge"

From 3-19 October 2011, as part of its "Red Tape Challenge" scheme, the Government is inviting the public to comment on how employment law can be simplified. Employment regulation has been broken into the following categories:

  • compliance and enforcement;
  • letting people go;
  • managing staff; and
  • taking people on.

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