These changes passed into law and the new rules came into affect on the 6 April 2012. However, there is a transitional arrangement in place. Employees starting work before 6 April 2012 will still fall under the old regime and the qualifying period will still be 12 months.
Only employees starting after 6 April 2012 will have the two year qualifying period. So 2012/13 will be a transitional year for unfair dismissal claims with two regimes in force.
The increase of the qualifying period was brought in as part of the Government's employment law review last year. Business secretary Vince Cable said: "Businesses tell us that unfair dismissal rules are a major barrier to taking on more people." and this prompted the announcement in October last year.