Generally, employees with over two years’ employment benefit from significantly increased employment rights because they have protection from unfair dismissal. However, employees with less than two years’ employment still benefit from other rights including protection from less favourable and discriminatory treatment and from detrimental treatment due to whistleblowing.
There is no upper limit on the financial awards that can be made by the Employment Tribunal in relation to either of the above claims.
Find out everything you need to know about leaving employment, either through force or of your own will, with David Greenhalgh. David has over 27 years of experience in the field of employment law and he can fight in your corner should you need advice on any possible settlement or employment claim.
Your employment rights with under 2 years of service are fewer than the rights of someone with over 2 years of service. According to UK employment law, if an employee has worked for less than two years, an employer can terminate employment without needing to provide a valid reason or without following a fair disciplinary process (provided there is discrimination or whistleblowing). After two years of continuous service, employees gain protection from unfair dismissal.
There are a few exceptions to the 2 year rule.
There are certain reasons that are legally considered ‘automatically unfair’ where they lead to an employee being dismissed. These reasons include:
Importantly, an employee does not need to have worked for the company for 2 years to have protection from the above.
Direct discrimination is less favourable treatment due to a protected characteristic such as:
Indirect discrimination is where an employer applies a provision, criterion, or practice which on its face applies to all employees but which actually places employees with a specific protected characteristic at a disadvantage. For example, a requirement that an employee must work full-time as opposed to part-time may indirectly discriminate against women who are more likely to have child caring responsibilities.
If the employer can show that the provision, criterion or practice is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim, they may be able to legally justify the discriminatory treatment.
If an employee has worked for for two years or more, the employer must have one of the fair reasons outlined in The Employment Rights Act  and act fairly in dismissing for that reason if it wants to avoid the risk of an unfair dismissal claim. These reasons include:
If you think you have been discriminated against, you should speak with an employment lawyer immediately. If you are found to be discriminated against, you could be awarded a settlement at an employment tribunal. Strict time limits apply to the bringing of discrimination claims.
There is no upper limit on the financial awards that can be made by the Employment Tribunal in relation to either of the above discrimination claims. David Greenhalgh has over 27 years working for employees and senior executives in the field of unfair dismissal and discrimination . Contact him today for more information on your possible claim for unfair dismissal or discrimination.
If you are a senior executive or employee with less than two years of employment and you would like advice on your possible claims for whistleblowing or discrimination with a view to obtaining and negotiating a settlement agreement or with a view to bringing a tribunal claim please contact David Greenhalgh on 020 3603 2177. You can also contact David by filling out our contact form and his team will contact you at a time that suits you.
This article/blog is for reference purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Specific legal advice about your specific circumstances should always be sought separately before taking or deciding not to take any action.