Commenting on the government’s announcement that it will extend the qualification period for the right to claim unfair dismissal from one to two years, Victoria Phillips, head of employment rights at trade union law firm Thompsons said:

“This is a complete sop to the business lobby and gives employers the green light to employ staff for one year and eleven months before getting rid of them. And all to save less than £6 million. The government has conceded that it will only reduce claims by 2,000 a year – there is absolutely no justification for it. It isn’t about cutting red tape, it’s about making it easier to sack people. Coupled with the introduction of employment tribunal fees, a chilling proposal which means a large number of people won’t be able to enforce their rights, this is another vindictive attack on vulnerable people which has nothing to do with flexibility but about pandering to the vested interests of employer bodies.”