Will Burrows, head of employment law at Lewis Hymanson Small, believes the Government’s upcoming employment law changes in April and beyond have the potential to create problems for both employees and employers.
Among the upcoming Employment Law changes likely to take place, the most controversial is the increased qualifying period for an employee to bring a claim of unfair dismissal from 1 year to 2 years service.
Will Burrows said: “The Government is attempting to reduce the number of unfair dismissal claims brought to employment tribunals. They see them as expensive, inefficient and a hindrance to business development. However I believe raising the qualifying period will have little, if any, positive repercussions on UK businesses growth. I fear this will create problems for judges and staff and also increase costs for employers and employees.
“Other proposed tribunal changes could see financial penalties for employers who breach employment legislation. This will not go down well with the business community as the fines will go directly to the Government, again drawing suspicion that far from encouraging business growth, the Government is actually just cutting costs in one area and loading more charges onto businesses.”
On 6 April the qualifying period for unfair dismissal will increase. Other likely changes include increasing Statutory Sick Pay rates and changes to Employment Tribunal procedures including the ability of a judge to award greater costs, and greater deposits for claimants.