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Those sacked due to their political beliefs could claim unfair dismissal

25th February 2013

In 2004, a bus driver was dismissed from his position when his employers discovered that he was a member of the BNP. It seems his managers decided that his allegiances to the party were “incompatible” with his job as he transported many Asian passengers and individuals with special needs.

However, the employee had only been in his position for approximately six months – and normally individuals have to work within the same job for a minimum of two years before they can claim unfair dismissal.

After a lengthy legal battle, the bus driver finally triumphed after taking his case to the European Court of Human Rights. Following the ruling, it has been reported that changes will be made to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill in order to reflect the court’s decision.

In a written statement, Business Minister Lord Younger said, “This amendment exempts claimants who allege that their dismissal was on the grounds of political opinion or affiliation from this two-year qualifying period.”

Once this change in the law receives Royal Assent, the amendment is expected to come into effect two months later. After this date, those who believe they were unfairly dismissed due to their political beliefs may be entitled to seek compensation through the services of an employment law solicitor – even if they had only worked in that job for a short period of time.

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