Key Announcements For Employers From The Budget For 2012

The Chancellor announced his budget for 2012 yesterday, the aim being to “reward work and support growth”. Key announcements for employers included:

Whilst the increase to the personal allowance and the rethink on child benefit can only encourage and motivate employees, some disappointment has been expressed by business groups that the Budget did not go further to relieve further the regulatory employment law burden. It may be that in fact the concern is more rightly leveled at the lack of acceleration in employment law reform. Whilst a small number of changes will come into force on 6 April, the most significant being the increase in the qualifying period of service for unfair dismissal claims from 1 year to 2 years, there are a number of potential changes in the pipeline – many of which may still be some time off being introduced, including the Government’s call for evidence on dismissal processes, including consideration of introducing compensated no fault dismissal for micro-businesses. However, this call for evidence does not close until June and will then be followed by a review and potentially consultation on any legislative changes.