The Government has announced that the qualification period for the right to claim unfair dismissal will be extended from one to two years from 6 April 2012.

What does this mean?

From 6 April it will be easier and less costly for employers to dismiss staff who have been employed for less than two years. In turn this may make it less risky for businesses to take on staff in the first place.

What should employers do?

Employers should be aware that the change will not impact on the right of employees to claim unfair dismissal if they have less than two years’ service where the reason for dismissal is one which is ‘automatically unfair’ such as whistleblowing nor will it affect discrimination claims. For this reason it is advisable for employers to take specific legal advice before dismissing an employee whatever their length of service.