"Staff who believe they have been unfairly dismissed could, in future, face extra barriers when taking their employers to an employment tribunal. The Government has said that it wants to see the qualifying time for bringing a claim raised from one to two years of employment.
Any employee making a claim may also be obliged to lodge a fee before the case can proceed. The Government argued that the current system leads to a large number of unmerited or vexatious claims.
A government spokesman commented: "We've heard loud and clear the concerns from businesses up and down the country that the system has become too costly, takes too much time, and that it is too easy to make vexatious claims. We're particularly concerned that it places unnecessary strains on small businesses."
However, the plans only extend to claims for unfair dismissal and not to other issues, such as discrimination, for which employers can be taken to a tribunal.
The number of tribunal claims climbed to 236,000 last year, a rise of 56 per cent. It is estimated that the average cost to employers of defending a claim is in the region of £4,000. The announcement is the first in a planned series of reforms to employment law.
The Prime Minister, David Cameron said: "The announcements on reforms to employment law are among the first conclusions of our government-wide growth review, and highlight our determination to ensure that employment law is no longer seen as a barrier to growth, while making sure that employees and employers are treated fairly. "
I have to admit a vested interest here. We made an employee redundant last summer, the dismissal (as redundancy is catergorised under employment law) was challenged, went to appeal and our decision was upheld. The appeal was then challenged by the person made redundant and the case referred to ACAS. Everything was done correctly, each reason for the employee claiming unfair dismissal were proven to be unfounded and the time spent by myself and our employment lawyer runs into thousands, that's without the lost time spent by the other staff talking about the case and my boss defending his corner. I think I posted about the various hearings at the time so won't go over old ground but the whole thing has been a waste of time and money. Yes, I can see the point of view from the other side but having presented a case which was lost there seems little point in pursuing it further.
As a point of interest, or not, redundancy took place in August and now in February we still don't have any work that would have been given to the person concerned.