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Dismissal claims rise ahead of employment law change

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Unfair dismissal claims have risen by almost 50% as employees look to "rush" through claims before new restrictions come into place, which will make it easier for employers to fire underperforming staff.

Under the proposals introduced this summer anyone looking to claim for unfair dismissal will have to pay a fee of £250 and a further £950 if the case reaches court.

Commercial law firm EMW says 15,300 claims were made in the second quarter of last year, up from 10,600 in the first quarter: a 44% increase.

Spokesman for EMW, Jon Taylor said: "The Government's proposals will significantly limit the advantages of pursuing an unfair dismissal claim against an employer. The Government hopes this will reduce spurious claims in future, but the impending deadline has helped prompt a spike in claims."

He continued: "People have been racing the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill through Parliament, since it was announced last May, to get their claim in under the current claims regime.

"Working through all these extra claims will add to the pressure already on the employment tribunal process. The system is struggling with an ever-growing backlog of cases still to be heard, leaving employers and employees in limbo as they wait for their cases to be resolved."

The information was obtained by EMW under the Freedom for Information Act.