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HR tip: Qualifying to claim unfair dismissal

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These questions are being answered by Learn HR, a market leader in the provision of HR and payroll training and nationally-recognised professional qualifications.


Question:

"Following a full investigation and properly conducted disciplinary interview, we dismissed a man for gross misconduct. At that point, he was actually one week short of one year's service. He has told us that he intends to claim for unfair dismissal. Can he?"

HR tip:

If challenged you will need to demonstrate that you conducted the exercise properly and without undue haste. If the court is satisfied that you did so, the employee will be prevented from having a claim heard because he will not have one year's service.

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One Response

  1. Yes he can
    That’s not quite true. Where an employee is dismissed without notice, Section 97 (2) (b) of the Employment Rights Act 1996 extends the effective date of termination (EDT) by the period of statutory notice the employee would have been entitled to for the purposes of calculating whether the employee has the minimum qualifying period to claim unfair dismissal (currently one year). Therefore, if an employee is dismissed without notice after 51 weeks’ continuous employment, their EDT will be extended by one week making them eligible to bring a claim for unfair dismissal. To avoid this situation arising, the dismissal would need to take place within 50 weeks’ continuous employment.

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