Increasing the qualifying period for unfair dismissal
It means that in order to be able to bring a claim for unfair dismissal or constructive unfair dismissal, an employee will usually have to have been with you continuously for 2 years.
Does the increase apply to all my employees?
No. Only employees who start on or after the 6 April 2012 will be subject to the new 2 year qualifying period.
So that means I can just sack new employees up to 2 years after they joined and they can't claim unfair dismissal?
No. There are lots exceptions where employees can bring a claim even if they have not been employed for the qualifying period.
For example, an employee could still claim if they believe they have been dismissed because of a protected characteristic (discrimination), or because they were a whistle blower, or because they were involved in certain trade union activities. These are just three examples, there are many more exceptions.
You also need to take into account an employee's notice, both statutory notice (which can count towards the qualifying period) and contractual notice, which may or may not count depending on how the dismissal is managed.
In addition, sometimes it is difficult to work out an employee's continuous service – for example, if they have been moved around between related companies or have had time off for a variety of reasons.
We hope this ezine has been useful.
If you have any questions you can call Law Express on 01275-378727.
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