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July 31st, 2012:

Your Rights are Further Eroded






There has never been a more important time to join a union. Members of unions work collectively to defend their members’ rights and employment conditions. One of the rights you will previously have had is the right “not be unfairly dismissed” but from April 2012 the period you must be employed to have the right not to be unfairly dismissed rises from one to two years. This new legislation affects anyone employed after 6 April 2012.

The new legislation is part of the government’s idea to rejuvenate the economy by making it easier to dismiss staff (and hence less risky, it argues, to employ someone in the first place).

The Labour Research Department’s (LRD) journal says:

“Even taken in its own terms, the government’s evidence for such ideas is embarrassingly weak.”

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) surveyed employers and only 1% agreed – when prompted – that “dismissal/disciplinary action is the regulation that most puts them off employing staff”.

Changes in Summary

  • The service requirement for claims for unfair dismissal has increased from one to two years for all new starters joining on or after 6 April 2012
  • The tribunal considering cases will no longer include two lay members with workplace experience as employer and workplace representatives. Unfair dismissal cases will usually be heard by a legally qualified judge, sitting alone.
  • The maximum deposit a claimant can be ordered to pay before being allowed to continue a claim has increased from £500 to £1,000.
  • The maximum costs award a tribunal can make has increased from £10,000 to £20,00 and witness expense are no longer publicly funded.

If you teach or are in an academic related role in Further or Higher Education you can join UCU here: