Guide

Dismissing staff

Last updated: 16 May 2017

Eligibility to claim unfair dismissal

Employees can only claim unfair dismissal if they've worked for a qualifying period - unless they're claiming for an automatically unfair reason.

Date employment started When the employee can claim
Before 6 April 2012 After first year of employment
After 6 April 2012 After 2 years of employment

Who can't claim unfair dismissal

The right to complain to a tribunal about unfair dismissal isn't available to:

  • self-employed people
  • independent contractors
  • members of the armed forces
  • employees who have reached a settlement with their employer through Acas(Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service)
  • employees employed under an illegal contract, eg a barman under the age of 18
  • employees covered by a dismissal procedure agreement that's been legally exempted from the unfair dismissal rules
  • employees taking part in unofficial industrial action (unless the dismissal is for an automatically unfair reason)
  • police staff (unless the dismissal relates to health and safety or whistleblowing.
  • those working on a fishing vessel and paid by a share in the profits or gross earnings of the vessel
  • employees who have reached a settlement with their employer through a 'compromise agreement' after taking legal advice
Dismissing staff
Eligibility to claim unfair dismissal