Employment Law Reforms on the Horizon | DBF Law

Following the consultation launched by the government earlier this year, Chancellor George Osborne announced two important changes at the Conservative Party conference last week. The aim of the proposals is to reduce the number of employment tribunal claims and boost the economy, providing some good news for employers.

First, the qualifying period for unfair dismissal will be increased from one year to two years with effect from 6th April 2012. The press release that accompanied this announcement set out the government’s estimate that this will save businesses £6 million per year, with a reduction in 2,000 claims per year.

Second, there has been mention that fees will be introduced for Claimant’s wishing to bring tribunal claims. Although there was no official announcement as to the detail of the tribunal fees proposal, the BBC has reported that further consultation will commence in November 2011 with implementation scheduled for April 2013. Current reports suggest that the following fee structure might apply::

  • An upfront fee of £250 when lodging claim;
  • Further fee of £1,000 payable by Claimant when the hearing is listed;
  • Higher fees if the claim is for over £30,000;
  • Fee to be refunded if Claimant wins, and forfeited if they lost (althugh it is not clear whether this means that the employer would be ordered to pay or the tribunal woudl refund it);
  • Exemptions for those without the means to pay

Although the changes do appear to provide some positive news for employers, one concern is whether the fee rules will actually have any teeth to them. If the test applied to determine whether a Claimant has the means to pay the fee is based on eligibility for income support then most unfair dismissal claimants will automatically qualify for the waiver by virtue of being out of work.

As always we will keep you posted with any further developments, so watch this space….


Read what our clients have to say...

View All

Excellent experience start to finish – always very responsive to any queries and the turnaround on the property I was buying was very quick, even in the busy time leading up to stamp duty deadline. Jenny was always very helpful and went above and beyond to close on a short timescale.

Ben Armitage

“Very approachable, practical solutions to problems, but most of all very responsive which I personally think is very important because if you need help, you need it quickly, or at least to know someone is looking at it for you”.

Joanne Rowe, Finance Director, Greater Manchester Chamber

“Always able to contact, very approachable, friendly and professional”

Nives Feely, JAM Recruitment

“I believe I have been able to establish a professional working relationship with everyone I have come into contact. Importantly, I sense the relationships which have been established give me the confidence that I can make contact with Davis Blank Furniss at any time and on any matter. I would also like to express my thanks to the very impressive “gatekeepers” who work in reception, not only for making me very welcome, but also for their professionalism”

Bill Pryke, CEO, Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors

“Thank you for your efficient and friendly help throughout this process. We have had it easy but your approach has been part of that”.

Robert Amsbury (Conveyancing Client)

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank you personally for the ongoing support and assistance the firm has offered to our parents over the years. I hope also that we may be able to call on you if necessary in the future.”

Valerie Fisher (Probate Client)

“Jo always provides great service, understands our needs and delivers on her promises. Our needs are relatively simple but the complexity arises out of the volume of work and short time frames, Jo always delivers.”

Peter Fernandez, Corporate Director at Royal Bank of Scotland

“A big thank you to all who dealt with my wife’s claim… We would not hesitate to recommend Davis Blank Furniss to anyone that may be in a situation like we have been…”

Anon (Personal Injury client)

“Before putting my case in Kirsty (Morbey)’s capable hands I’ve met a couple of other solicitors. None of them listen to me as intently as Kirsty and showed me as much empathy and understanding as she did. Simultaneously she was able to look at my case from legal perspective, explain all the options and follow each of our meetings with written summary of the discussed matters (in timely manner). Her advice was invaluable and led me to successfully ending the case matter (hopeful for good). I’m forever grateful for he work and would definitely recommend her to anyone looking for reliable, knowledgeable and committed solicitor”.

Anon (Family client)
5 star service

Our Manchester office is rated 5 stars on Google