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Rules for unfair dismissal change

05 December 2014

The qualifying period for people to make an unfair dismissal complaint will increase from six months to one year from 1 January 2015, following a decision by the Social Security Minister.

The change will only apply to new jobs that start on or after 1 January 2015. Employees who already have a job will retain the right to claim unfair dismissal after six months’ continuous service.

Employees who feel that they have been unfairly dismissed can make a complaint to the Employment and Discrimination Tribunal.

The Social Security Minister, Deputy Susie Pinel, said "I am confident that a one year qualifying period will encourage employers to take on more staff and will make a real difference to locally-based small businesses. The additional six months to assess whether a person is right for the job should increase the number of employers who are willing to give a local jobseeker a chance through one of our Back to Work initiatives.

"I also believe that this change has the potential to motivate employers to offer more permanent terms and conditions of employment to employees, rather than entering into casual staffing arrangements."

The change has been endorsed by the Council of Ministers. The Chief Minister, Senator Ian Gorst said “During the elections, I pledged to support local businesses and I have made it clear that one of my priorities as Chief Minister is to promote growth and create employment opportunities. By extending the qualifying period for unfair dismissal claims - to a period that is in line with our competitor jurisdictions - we are sending a positive signal to businesses and removing one of the perceived barriers to employing staff. We need to boost growth, and to do that we need to get more people into work. This amendment will help us achieve that priority.”

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