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Firms ‘want dismissal laws changed’

Firms ‘want dismissal laws changed’

The laws surrounding unfair dismissal should be altered in order that staff can be laid off more easily, the majority of employers claim in a new study.

More than two out of three of the 250 employers questioned said they had no effective protection against employees taking "unjustifiable" claims to employment tribunals.

Three out of five firms taking part in research for the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) complained that a staff member claiming unfair dismissal had "tagged on" a discrimination claim in the hope of increasing the compensation they received.

About 55% said they had received a complaint on "malicious grounds", while 52% called for the law on unfair dismissal to be changed.

Mike Emmott, CIPD's employee relations adviser, said: "This survey reflects the strength of feeling among employers about the failings of the current system for resolving workplace disputes. Despite many attempts in recent years to find a solution, the volume of tribunal claims has increased and employers believe they have no protection against weak or speculative claims.

"However, the survey findings also suggest that recent plans outlined by the Government – to increase the minimum period employees serve before they can claim unfair dismissal from 12 months to two years – will have only limited impact on the number of claims. This is because many claims are linked to discrimination claims which can be made from day one of employment."

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