The myth of two-years continuous service

Home ADVICE & GUIDANCE The myth of two-years continuous service

Employers frequently ask me the following two questions:

  • If an employee has less than two year’s service, can I dismiss them without following formal procedure?
  • Will the employee be able to bring a claim at an employment tribunal?

Well, the answer to both questions is No and Yes. Too many employers buy into this myth that it is easy to terminate an employee when they have less than two years continuous service.

My advice to these employers is to think carefully about the following points before making any decision:

  • Have you got the correct start date for the employee? Did the employee transfer from another department, and therefore would they have continuity of service from the previous department?
  • Were they on a fixed term contract and subsequently issued a new fixed term contract? Was there a break between the two? If there was a break, what were the reasons, i.e. had they been off sick?
  • If dismissing an employee, have they taken into account the notice period? If an employer dismisses an employee 2 or 3 days prior to them reaching 2 years continuous service, the employee would still be entitled to at least one week notice (even if paid in lieu) which would take them over the 2 years and thereby giving them employment rights.

It is important an employer always follows the correct procedure and takes into account any other statutory claims that an employer could bring against the company, such as discrimination, whistleblowing etc

So employers beware: although the commercial route of not following the correct procedures might seem a good route, bear in mind the potential risks before deciding which course of action to take. Or make your life easier and call Avensure.

Ray Gash (Black & White)

For more information about me, come see my profile: Ray Gash

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Elena Boura