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Dismissal - unfair and otherwise

Dismissal - unfair and otherwise

A question which is often asked by a lot of employees and employers is whether or not an employee with less than two years' service can be dismissed without following any process and without the risk of the employee bringing any claims against the company.  Whilst it is true that to qualify for an unfair dismissal claim an employee will need to have two years' continuous service, there are other claims which can be sought without this length of service.

Employees have rights outside of the right not to be unfairly dismissed from their first day of employment.  The most common of these claims is, for example, the right not to be discriminated or treated less favourably or subjected to harassment because of a protected characteristic, for example this could be because of age, race or gender.  It is important to know that these rights exist even when an individual is applying for a job and before they start work, for example if there is any element of discrimination in the recruitment process.  It is possible bring claims against a potential employer with regards to this.  We also should remember that there are other claims that do not require two years' service.  These relate to specific issues, for example a dismissal relating to pregnancy or maternity leave, any dismissal for a reason connected to health and safety or breaches of health and safety regulations.

Therefore, if in doubt as to whether any discriminatory issues or otherwise may have arisen in a particular situation with an individual, it is advisable to play safe and follow a procedure before deciding to dismiss.

If you require further advice on this, please contact Miranda Mulligan in our Employment law team on 01992 300333 or


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. 


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