As a general rule employees only obtain protection from unfair dismissal after completing two full years in their role. However, in certain circumstances employees dismissed for 'protected' reasons can still bring a claim for unfair dismissal despite not having completed two full years. There are a number of 'protected' reasons but examples include:
- Dismissal due to pregnancy, childbirth or family leave (i.e. maternity leave, paternity leave etc.)
- Dismissal for another discriminatory reason - for example if someone is considered 'too old' for the job
- Dismissal for raising concerns about health and safety
- Dismissal for whistleblowing on illegal or unlawful workplace practices
- Dismissal in connection with trade union membership or activities
An employee who has been automatically unfairly dismissed may be able to bring a claim against the employer to the Employment Tribunal. As well as the possibility of being reinstated (if desired and possible) compensation of up to 12 months' pay can potentially be recovered.
If you have a query relating to automatic unfair dismissal please contact Nockolds' specialist Employment Team on 01279 755777, or get in touch with Gary Smith, Partner in our Employment Team.