The Government has announced two significant amendments to employment law.
The first is an amendment to unfair dismissal legislation disapplying the two year qualifying period to claim unfair dismissal if the dismissal relates to an employee’s political opinions or affiliation. This is following the recent European Court of Human Rights decision in Redfearn v UK (see previous LAWmail articles). In this case, the ECHR found in favour of Mr Redfearn who was dismissed due to his membership of the BNP. The amendment does not necessarily mean that such a dismissal will be found to be unfair, simply that no qualifying period will be necessary to bring a claim of unfair dismissal.
The second amendment relates to the making of protected disclosures (whistleblowing). The amendment removes the requirement that such disclosures must be made “in good faith”. Instead, the tribunal will have discretion to reduce compensation by up to 25% where it is found that the disclosure is not made in good faith.