Chancellor George Osborne has announced that there will be changes made to unfair job dismissal claims and the tribunal system. The announcement confirms a previous document released by the Department of Business, Innovation, and Skills, who would later address the release of the document to the Internet as a “drafting error.”
The changes were instituted to help protect small businesses by raising the qualification period for unfair dismissal claims from one year up to two years, as well as to enact a fee for those who choose to file a tribunal claim against an employer. As of April 2013, the tribunal application fee will cost an employee £250, with an additional fee of £1,000 to be paid if a hearing is granted. The fees are to be refunded if the employee wins their case. The fees will be waived for the poor and qualifying guidelines to determine who is “poor” are yet to be established.
The response to the changes has been a mixed one. One chief economic adviser acknowledges that the changes could pose as much harm as they could good. Those who have chosen a solid career may find that they have the most protection, as the recent changes may send employers on a recruitment streak, while companies may be inclined to fire employees in lesser skilled jobs during company down times.
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