HR Advice – Why does length of service matter?

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HR advice

HR Advice – Why does length of service matter?

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When giving HR advice we will reassure our clients in saying that length of service only really matters when you are planning to dismiss a member of staff.

If someone has been an employee in your company for two years or more they have the right to claim unfair dismissal. This can result in you and your company to be taken to an employment tribunal.

However, if the employee has been employed for less than two years, they won’t have rights to claim unfair dismissal. But this doesn’t mean you’re out of the woods when it comes to dismissing an employee. Some people who you choose to employ may have what we call ‘protected characteristics’. This video explains what protected characteristics are and how to safeguard yourself when dismissing someone who may have these.

What are protected characteristics?

Protected characteristics are what we know as discriminations. So for example, this could be anything from age discrimination to disability discrimination. These characteristics are so important for you as an employer to understand. This is because someone doesn’t actually have to be employed by you to make a discrimination claim. These people could have applied for a job with you, didn’t get an interview and could then claim against you.

When giving HR advice, we worry about these discrimination claims as they can, if won, be a very expensive claim. This is because there is currently no cap on what an individual can be paid if they win their case for discrimination. Although, with an unfair dismissal claim there is a cap on how much a person can be paid if they win their case.

To conclude, if you are planning on dismissing a member of staff you firstly need to check if they have under 2 years of service. If so great, no unfair dismissal claims but then you also need to check if they have any protected characteristics. If you have any more questions about dismissing a member of staff get in touch today.

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