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Changes to dismissal laws planned

Changes to dismissal laws planned

The Government plans to extend the qualifying period for unfair dismissal claims from one to two years as part of new legislation that is due to come into effect from April 6.

The new Unfair Dismissal and Statement of Reasons for Dismissal (Variation of Qualifying Period) Order 2012 and the Employment Tribunals Act 1996 (composition) Order 2012 would also allow employment judges to sit alone in unfair dismissal cases. However, the judge could opt for a panel of three judges rather than one in particularly complex cases.

Under the proposals, the extended qualification period for an unfair dismissal claim would only apply to employees who start a new job on or after April 6. The qualifying period necessary to be entitled to a written statement of reasons for dismissal would also be increased from one to two years if the changes are adopted. The proposed changes to the current legislation can be found on the legislation.gov website.

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