Feeds

Gov may restrict unfair dismissal claim rights

Lord Young hopes this will boost employment figures

Build a business case: developing custom apps

The Government's new advisor on small businesses could recommend an increase in the length of time employees have to work before being allowed to bring unfair dismissal claims.

Employees can currently take unfair dismissal claims against employers once they have been in their jobs for a year. The Government's newly appointed small-business advisor Lord Young confirmed to BBC Radio this morning that he might recommend preventing such claims until workers had been employed for two years.

The Government said that it had appointed Lord Young to his unpaid advisory post to "ensure the economic contribution that small and medium-sized businesses make and the issues they face are recognised at the very heart of government".

Lord Young said that he would have to consult with small businesses before making any recommendations, but confirmed earlier leaks that the increase in the amount of time employees have to work before being eligible for unfair dismissal claims was "one of the lines" he would investigate.

"Back in the '80s when we did that, the result was that employment starting shooting up again," said Lord Young on BBC Radio 4's Today programme. "I want to find out what small-business people themselves think about this and then we'll think about it."

The move could relieve businesses of some obligations to employees but the effect might not be as significant as the Government hopes, according to employment law expert Kirsty Ayre of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind OUT-LAW.COM.

"I think what we would be likely to see is a small reduction in the number of unfair dismissal claims in the one to two year period, but a corresponding increase in the number of discrimination claims," said Ayre.

"The number of standalone unfair dismissal claims we are seeing is decreasing. Increasingly they are coming with discrimination claims tagged on; that means that there is unlimited compensation and the possibility of claiming for injury to feelings," she said.

Ayre said that Lord Young might be told by companies that they want to see the lengthening of the service requirements for unfair dismissal claims, but that this may not make a major difference to companies.

"On the face of it this will be welcomed by employers because it gives more flexibility and a longer period of probation for staff," she said. "But in the longer term I think this won't significantly reduce the number of claims, it will just change the type of claims, and we'll see more with a discrimination element."

Copyright © 2010, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle
Red-hatted mascot, red-colored logo, red-stained finance books
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.