In perhaps its most ‘headline grabbing’ move, Labour has proposed in its Green Paper to provide a day one right to claim unfair dismissal.

Over the years, the qualifying period for unfair dismissal has regularly changed. At various times it has been six months, a year, and since 2012 we’ve had a two-year qualifying period. But we have never had a position in the UK where there has been, effectively, no qualifying period for ordinary unfair dismissal.

However, the headline here is a little misleading. What Labour actually says is that it will make the right a day 1 right ‘subject to contractual probationary periods’. This suggests that employers will be able to dismiss without fear of ordinary dismissal claims if the dismissal takes effect during a contractual probationary period.

This policy has an even bigger impact when you look at it in the context of Labour’s separate proposal to create an umbrella concept of ‘worker’, which covers anyone who isn’t genuinely self-employed. They would all have unfair dismissal rights and, under this policy, they would have them from ‘day 1’ (subject to probationary periods).

2024 could be one of those years that goes down in history for employment rights so watch this space closely!