Important changes intended to reduce the number of Employment Tribunal claims have been announced by the UK Government.

  1. The qualifying period for unfair dismissal claims will increase from one to two years from 6 April 2012.

This is welcome news for businesses struggling under the restrictions of the current unfair dismissal regime.  However, there is a concern that employees may try to bring more claims under the discrimination legislation where no qualifying period is required.

  1. Fees will be introduced for bringing Tribunal claims.

There has been no formal announcement about the level of fees or when this change will be implemented.  Some news sources have reported that the issue fee for new claims will be £250 and the listing fee will be £1,000, with exemptions for those without the means to pay.  However, this is still speculation and it remains to be seen how and when Tribunal fees will be implemented in practice.