Most days I get a phone call from a distressed client who has had their employment terminated after a short time in their job. Read on for more information about what they can and can’t do.
Friends, generalist advisers and the internet will tell you that you need two years’ employment with your employer before you can bring a claim for unfair dismissal at the Employment Tribunal. To a certain degree they are correct, two years’ service is the general rule. However, the benefit of being specialist employment solicitors is that, at Lincs Law, we don’t just know the general rules but all the exceptions as well.
The General Rule – Two Years’ Employment
As stated above, if you have been dismissed, made redundant or if you have resigned from your employment, you will normally have to have two years’ service with your employer in order to be able to bring a claim of unfair dismissal or constructive dismissal at the Employment Tribunal.
What about one year and 51 weeks?
If you have been dismissed within a week of your two-year anniversary, either without any notice or with a payment in lieu, you can rely on your statutory notice period to make up your service for the purposesof your unfair dismissal claim.
What are the exceptions to the two years’ employment rule?
If your dismissal was for one of the reasons below, you do not need two years’ employment with your employer to claim unfair dismissal:
- Automatic Unfair Dismissal: If your dismissal is for a reason which entitles you to claim Automatic Unfair Dismissal, usually you can bring your claim without any service requirement. These types of claims will be for dismissals because of matters such as family reasons, health and safety, Sunday working, working time, whistleblowing, asserting a statutory right etc.
- Medical suspension: If you are dismissed in circumstances where you would qualify for paid suspension on medical grounds, you can bring a claim of unfair dismissal after one month’s service with your employer.
- Reserve forces: If you are dismissed for a reason which”is, or is connected with” your membership of the reserve forces, then you can bring a claim of unfair dismissal against your employer no matter how short your length of service.
- Political opinions or affiliation: If you are dismissed for a reason which “is, or relates to” your political opinions or affiliation, then then you can bring a claim of unfair dismissal against your employer no matter how short your length of service.
Other claims at the Employment Tribunal
The purpose of this blog is to focus on unfair dismissal matters where you are usually required to complete two years’ service with your employer to bring a claim. However, for other types of claim, for example, discrimination, harassment, victimisation etc there is no minimum period of employment needed.
Also, claims of unfair dismissal should not be confused with possible claims of wrongful dismissal which are for notice pay or other wages and pay claims. Such claims are for money owed and, therefore, have no minimum service requirement.
Can Lincs Law Employment Solicitors Help You?
If your employment has ended and you think you might have a claim, please call us on 01522 440512 for a free, no obligation, telephone consultation. Alternatively, for more information about unfair dismissal claims visit website at https://lincslaw.co.uk/services/employees/resignation-dismissal-and-redundancy/
Sally Hubbard, Specialist Employment Law Solicitor
Lincs Law Employment Solicitors