In April 2012, the qualifying period of employment before employees are protected from being unfairly dismissed will increase from 1 year to 2 years.
The Government has not yet told us how this will work in practice.
Our view is:
(i) that employees who have more than 1 years service but less than 2 when the law changes will not lose their right to claim unfair dismissal (if dismissed before 2 years service has accrued);
(ii) employees who have less than 1 years service but are employed when the law changes will probably remain subject to the 1 year qualifying period;
(iii) employees joining after the law changes in April will be subject to the 2 year qualifying period.
Probably the major doubt is in relation to (ii) above. It remains to be seen how the law will be drafted.