Unfair dismissal qualifying period

The draft Unfair Dismissal and Statement of Reasons for Dismissal (Variation of Qualifying Period) Order 2012 has at long last been published.

Many employers may be pleased to hear that for all employees employed on or after 6th April 2012, the qualifying period for unfair dismissal increases to two years.  This in effect allows employers two years in which to make a decision as to whether the employee is suitable for the role and the company, before they are able to claim unfair dismissal if you decide to terminate their employment.

However it should be noted that this qualifying period relates ­only to unfair dismissal claims.  There are still a number of claims which can be brought without any qualifying service being required.  Whilst not exhaustive, these can involve:

  • claims for any form of discrimination
  • suffering a detriment for asserting a statutory right
  • dismissal for trade union activity
  • dismissal for health & safety activity
  • whistle-blowing

Employees whose period of continuous employment began on or before 5th April 2012 will still be subject to the one year qualifying period.

This right to written reasons for dismissal also increases to a two year qualifying service.

For further information, contact your Drury consultant on 01274 626200.