In the Second Statement of New Regulation, published this week, the Government listed the steps it has taken to “cut the regulatory burden facing British businesses”. Amongst the actions listed, the report states that the Government has: “Consulted on changes to employment law that will give business the confidence to take on staff.”
It adds: “We are increasing the qualifying period for employees to be able to bring a claim for unfair dismissal from one to two years and introducing fees for lodging employment tribunal cases to tackle vexatious claims.”
Emma Cross, Senior Associate at law firm Pannone, said the release of the information suggested that “BIS may have pre-judged the outcome of the consultation and that the policy will change”.
A Pannone survey earlier this year found that 83% of employers welcomed the proposal to increase the qualification period from one to two years – however only 17% said it would encourage them to hire more employees that they previously would have. 94% welcomed the proposals for the claimants to pay a fee before taking their case to an employment tribunal.
Emma Cross said: “Whilst it is embarrassing for BIS that it issued this statement before the outcome of the consultation has been announced, the news that these proposals will proceed will be welcomed by employers.”
“The real test will be whether the proposals do in fact increase employment and reduce the number of tribunal claims.”
When asked whether the inclusion of these measures in the document confirmed that they were definitely going ahead, a BIS spokesperson said only: “There will be a Government response in the autumn this year.”