Our Employment Rights series addresses important questions about employment matters. Our employment solicitors explain common misconceptions and break down legal jargon.
I have been told that I have no employment rights until I have at least 12 months’ continuous service with my employer – is this right?
It is a common misconception that employees have few or no rights as against their employer during the first year of employment.
Many employment rights are available from the outset of the employment relationship. These include but are not limited to:
- The right not to have monies unlawfully deducted from your wage;
- Protection from discrimination on numerous grounds including race, gender and religious belief;
- Statutory minimum entitlements to annual leave and notice on termination of employment;
- Statutory minimum wage
What about unfair dismissals?
If an employee is unable to claim for unfair dismissal against a former employer without 12 months’ continuous service. In the majority of cases this is accurate, however employment legislation prescribes certain types of dismissal which are automatically unfair from day one of the employment relationship.
These include, amongst others:-
- Dismissals for reasons connected to the employee’s pregnancy;
- Health and safety dismissals; and
- In the case of shop and betting workers, dismissals relating to the employee’s refusal to work on a Sunday
An employer should not therefore assume that an employee without 12 months’ continuous service can be dismissed for any reason. Employers should be vigilant when dismissing employees regardless of the employee’s length of service.
Employers should note that the qualifying period for an employee to bring an unfair dismissal claim is 2 years’ continuous employment. There shall remain, however, categories of dismissal – such as those noted above – which will continue to be deemed automatically unfair and will therefore not require the employee to have 2 years’ service.
We provide specialist employment advice
If in any doubt as to your rights and/or obligations under employment legislation, you should seek professional assistance.
Employment law is complex and always changing and you should always seek specialist advice.
Ellis-Fermor & Negus solicitors have offices across the East Midlands.
Please contact Darren Kelly
01773 744 744