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Unfair dismissal claims rocket as law change looms

By James Barnes

15 April 2013 at 11:22 BST

Claims for unfair dismissal in the UK have risen by 44 per cent as sacked employees rush to bring claims before Government measures aimed at making it easier for companies to dismiss underperforming workers come into force.

Power to the employer

Statistics from the Tribunals Service show that some 15,300 claims were made in the quarter to September 2012, compared to 10,600 in the three months to June.

Capped claims

Soon to be implemented proposals will mean that anyone wishing to bring a claim for unfair dismissal will have to pay a £250 fee to make the claim plus a further £950 if the case reaches court, when previously it was free to make a claim. Another proposal will see successful claims capped at one year’s salary or £74,200, whichever is lower.
The measures are part of Government plans to make it harder for disgruntled works to bring the claims against employers in an effort to unshackle the overburdened tribunal system from ‘spurious’ claims.

'Lightweight claims'

London employment law firm EMW – which uncovered the statistics under Freedom of Information law – claimed that employees have ‘rushed’ to take action before the law changes.
EMW principal Jon Taylor  told The Telegraph: ‘There will have been a spike in very lightweight claims for unfair dismissal. The incoming changes increase the incentive for sacked employees to launch a 'free’ unfair dismissal claim now; some people will be trying their luck while they still can.’


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