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Stealth tactics: making unfair dismissal worthless

Having found that it could not politically do away with unfair dismissal outright, the government now wants 
to – quietly – make it worthless, says Anya Palmer

11 June 2012

The government’s employment law review is now halfway into its second year. The qualifying period to bring a claim for unfair dismissal has already been doubled from one year’s service to two, from April, and there are plans to introduce fees for tribunal claims with the obvious intention of deterring claims (see ‘Fire away’, Solicitors Journal 155/38, 11 October 2011). But the business lobby – notably the British Chambers of Commerce, the CBI and the Institute of Directors – wants more.

For months now the business lobby has been pushing for the proposal by millionaire Tory donor Adrian Beecroft to replace the right to claim unfair dismissal with a no-fault compensation scheme. That proposal was rejected for political reasons in November 2011, and was replaced with a more limited proposal to introduce a no-fault scheme for very small businesses employing fewer than ten people. A consultation or ‘call for ev...

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