§ 100. Mr. Kimball
asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will review the Employment Protection Act and extend from six months to two years the period of exemption from the provisions of this Act for a new employee, in order to encourage small firms to take on more labour.
§ Mr. Booth
I presume the hon. Member is referring to the 26 weeks' qualifying period for unfair dismissal protection which is provided for in the Trade Union and Labour Relations Act 1974. The Employment Protection Act specifies the same qualifying period for its associated requirement for provision of a written statement of reasons for dismissal. We have no intention of extending this period, since to do so would clearly reduce employees' security of employment.
§ Mr. Kimball
asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he is aware that a hard core of regular claimants is now building up under the provisions of the Employment Protection Act; and what steps he proposes to take to deal with this practice.
§ Mr. Booth
None of the individual rights under the Employment Protection Act has been implemented as yet. It is therefore not possible at this stage for anyone to have made a claim under the Act.