Unfair Dismissal and the Two Year Rule - Sarah England, Partner at Gales Solicitors

20th May 2020

I speak to many employees who tell me that they feel that they have been unfairly dismissed at work but know that there is nothing that they can do because they haven’t been employed for at least two years.

It is true to say that unless you have been employed for two years or more you are not able to bring a claim for ordinary unfair dismissal.

However, there is a distinct category of dismissals which do not need any qualifying period in order to bring a claim. These types of dismissals are called automatic unfair dismissals.

A dismissal may be automatically unfair (and as such can be brought by any employee with any length of service) if you feel that your dismissal was for any of the following reasons:

  • Whistleblowing – you may have been seen as a troublemaker because you told your employer that there had been, was or was about to be, some wrongdoing by the Company or one of your colleagues which you felt may have been unlawful or put peoples safety at risk;
  • Health & Safety – you may have raised some issue regarding health and safety at work;
  • You took time off for certain family reasons, for instance, to look after your children (or another dependant) because they were sick;
  • You refused to work Sundays (or refused to work additional hours on a Sunday) and you were a shop worker;
  • You refused to sign an agreement opting out of the 48 hour working week;
  • You asked to take annual leave;
  • You asked to be paid the national minimum wage;
  • You made an application for flexible working;
  • You asked to be enrolled in a pension scheme

This list above is not exhaustive, there are many different situations where a dismissal may be automatically unfair. If you feel that you have been unfairly dismissed, take legal advice as quickly as you can. Make sure that you do so within 90 days of your dismissal.

Sarah England, Partner at Gales Solicitors has been providing expert legal advice on employment issues for over 10 years. Sarah has a keen interest in discrimination, unfair dismissal and national minimum wage claims.

Sarah@gales-solicitors.co.uk Tel. 01202 422622