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All change for April

28th March, 2012

Government reforms will be implemented next month with the aim of aiding economic growth.  The planned changes are outlined in the response to the Resolving Workplace Disputes consultation and include:-

  • The qualifying period for unfair dismissal to increase from one to two years for those who commence employment on or after 6 April 2012.  Those already in employment will retain the one year qualifying period.
  • The maximum deposit a tribunal will be able to order a party to pay if their claim has little reasonable prospects of success will increase from £500 to £1,000.  This will affect all cases which are presented on or after 6 April 2012.
  • The maximum amount of costs an employment tribunal can award (without referring the case to the county court for detailed assessment) will increase from £10,000 to £20,000.  This applies to all cases presented on or after 6 April 2012.
  • Where witness statements are used in a tribunal hearing, they will stand as evidence in chief and will be taken as read at the hearing, unless a judge or tribunal directs otherwise.  This will affect all cases presented on or after 6 April 2012.
  • State funded witness expenses will be withdrawn.  Tribunals will have the power to direct parties to fund the expenses of any witness.  This will affect claims presented on or after 6 April 2012.
  • Unfair dismissal cases in the tribunal will be heard by a judge sitting alone without lay members, unless the judge orders otherwise.  This will affect all cases heard on or after 6 April 2012.  The success of this change is to be reviewed after one year.

For any queries regarding employment law contact our Employment Team on 01244 405555.

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