Employees tend to need two years of service to pursue claims of Unfair Dismissal in the Employment Tribunal. However, there are certain claims that can still be pursued without that minimum period of service, including health and safety cases. Read on for more….
The Usual Requirement for Service
As mentioned above, in most cases, an employee will need two full years of service before being able to pursue a claim of what we would term ordinary Unfair Dismissal. For more information about Unfair Dismissal, see our website page https://lincslaw.co.uk/services/employees/resignation-dismissal-and-redundancy/unfair-dismissal/.
Health & Safety Cases
The above said, there are certain dismissal claims that can be pursued without two years of service and one of these, relates to health and safety. For cases of this nature, the law recognises that employees ought to be able to raise legitimate health and safety concerns without fear of dismissal (or detriment). However, certain criteria for claims of this nature must be met, and Section 100 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 set out the position as follows: –
(1) An employee who is dismissed shall be regarded for the purposes of this Part as unfairly dismissed if the reason (or, if more than one, the principal reason) for the dismissal is that—
(a)having been designated by the employer to carry out activities in connection with preventing or reducing risks to health and safety at work, the employee carried out (or proposed to carry out) any such activities,
(b)being a representative of workers on matters of health and safety at work or member of a safety committee—
(i)in accordance with arrangements established under or by virtue of any enactment, or
(ii)by reason of being acknowledged as such by the employer,
the employee performed (or proposed to perform) any functions as such a representative or a member of such a committee,
(c)being an employee at a place where—
(i)there was no such representative or safety committee, or
(ii)there was such a representative or safety committee but it was not reasonably practicable for the employee to raise the matter by those means,
he brought to his employer’s attention, by reasonable means, circumstances connected with his work which he reasonably believed were harmful or potentially harmful to health or safety,
(d)in circumstances of danger which the employee reasonably believed to be serious and imminent and which he could not reasonably have been expected to avert, he left (or proposed to leave) or (while the danger persisted) refused to return to his place of work or any dangerous part of his place of work, or
(e)in circumstances of danger which the employee reasonably believed to be serious and imminent, he took (or proposed to take) appropriate steps to protect himself or other persons from the danger.
(2)For the purposes of subsection (1)(e) whether steps which an employee took (or proposed to take) were appropriate is to be judged by reference to all the circumstances including, in particular, his knowledge and the facilities and advice available to him at the time.
(3)Where the reason (or, if more than one, the principal reason) for the dismissal of an employee is that specified in subsection (1)(e), he shall not be regarded as unfairly dismissed if the employer shows that it was (or would have been) so negligent for the employee to take the steps which he took (or proposed to take) that a reasonable employer might have dismissed him for taking (or proposing to take) them.
Lincs Law Employment Solicitors Can Help You
We have acted for many clients with less than two years’ service who were dismissed by alleged reason of conduct, capability, or even redundancy. However, following a full review of the papers it becomes plain the real reason for dismissal was that they had raised health and safety concerns, and were then dismissed in consequence. In cases such as this, we have no hesitation advising clients to pursue their claims in the Employment Tribunal, resulting in very successful outcomes.
If you are experiencing difficulties at work or have been dismissed, please contact us for a free, no obligation consultation with one of our fully qualified employment solicitors. Simply use the contact form, engage in a webchat, email email@example.com or call us on 01522 440512 and we will be happy to help.
Alternatively, for more information about unfair dismissal, please click https://lincslaw.co.uk/services/employees/resignation-dismissal-and-redundancy/unfair-dismissal/
Sophie Goodwill, Director
Lincs Law Employment Solicitors