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An employment “banana skin”
The abolition of tribunal fees last July has resulted in a sharp increase in employment tribunal claims. So employers are well advised to tread carefully. One misconception that can result in unnecessary claims is that employees without two years’ qualifying service are unable to bring tribunal claims. This is wrong for two reasons.
Firstly, discrimination rights are not dependent on length of service and indeed could give rise to claims even before employment commences where there has been discrimination within the recruitment process.
Secondly, automatically unfair dismissals do not require qualifying service. These types of dismissal are often overlooked and in fact constitute a lengthy list of dismissal circumstances. The most common types of dismissal that are automatically unfair are those connected with pregnancy, childbirth and statutory maternity or parental leave rights. Dismissals for whistle blowing and asserting certain statutory rights, for example any rights under the Employment Rights legislation to bring tribunal claims are also automatically unfair. Other such dismissals include dismissals around asserting health and safety rights, refusing to work on a Sunday, working time and national minimum wage rights and flexible working rights. These are just a few of the scenarios where dismissal could be automatically unfair and result in an unfair dismissal claim even where there is no two year qualifying service.
For advice on all Employment Law issues, please contact Richard Gvero, Joint Senior Partner and Head of Employment law.
Please note the contents of this blog are given for information only and must not be relied upon. Legal advice should always be sought in relation to specific circumstances.