Unfair Dismissal Rights – Qualifying Period Under Review


The Coalition Government has set itself the task of removing barriers to growth faced by small and medium-sized firms and to find ways of minimising regulatory and bureaucratic burdens imposed on them.
One of the measures under consideration is increasing from one year to two years the period for which an employee must work for an employer before acquiring the right to claim unfair dismissal.
The qualifying period has been changed on several occasions in the past. Originally, the period was six months. This was increased to two years for employers with 20 or fewer employees and one year for larger employers in 1980. It was then increased to two years for all employers in 1985. The last time the qualifying period was changed was in 1999, when it was reduced from two years to one year for all employers.
Consultation with interested parties will take place over the coming months to examine the likely effects of the proposed change.

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