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I have less than 1 year’s service, can I make any claim at the Employment Tribunal for unfair dismissal?

Employment Law - Less than 1 years service, do I have a case. The short answer to this is no but first be sure that you have less than one years service. What do I mean by this? Well I have dealt with a number of cases recently where the employer has dismissed an employee by calling them into a meeting and sacking them a few days before the first anniversary of their employment. They have been sacked and had their notice paid in lieu, which means that their effective date of termination would appear to be less than one year because their employment terminates on the date they are told of the termination. But provided the dismissal was not for gross misconduct, then the weeks notice will continue to run so that if his first anniversary is in this week, he will have a year�s service and can make a claim for unfair dismissal.

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The other way employers often make a mistake is when there has been a business take over, provided the Transfer of Undertakings Regulations apply (TUPE). In this situation, any previous service will count in the calculation of whether the employee has a year�s service.

A number of claims do not require a year�s service such as all of the discrimination claims such as race, sex, pregnancy related discrimination, disability, and sexual orientation.

Claims for non-payment of wages, breaches of the Working Time Regulations, minimum wage and breach of contract also have no service requirement.

Victimisation after having made a complaint of �whistle blowing� or after making a health and safety complaint and assertion of a statutory right all have no service requirement.

There are a number of other claims but the key issue is the reason for the dismissal has to be linked to the complaint, victimisation or discrimination.


Penny has worked as a secretary in a local authority for 6 months. She has had her probation period extended because the authority are not happy with her performance and attendance. Secretly, Penny has been worried that she may be pregnant but she has told no one at work about this. She has a review and at the review she is dismissed. The authority has dismissed an employee during the probation period with less than a years service - no claim.

Lets change the circumstances, Penny has been performing ok and has not had her probation extended and after six months she tells her boss that she is pregnant. The next day she is called into the office and dismissed for poor performance. In this scenario, in the absence of a reasonable explanation by the employer, the dismissal may be linked to her pregnancy and she would have a claim.

In conclusion, we get a lot of phone calls and Claim Evaluators about being dismissed with no proper procedure and with less than a years service and so have to tell people they do not have the right not to be unfairly dismissed with less than one year�s service. Unless you can prove the reason related to an under one year issue such as discrimination, the reality is there are very few claims left to you, provided notice has been paid and the majority of claims are worth very little.

If you are facing redundancy visit our redundancy pages.

If you are being unfairly Dismissed, visit our Unfair Dismissal pages.

If you are being disrciminated against due to race, visit our Race Discrimination pages.

If you are considering going to an Employment Tribunal then see our Employment Tribunal pages

If you are facing Constructive Dismissal, visit our Constructive Dismissal pages.

If you are losing your job due to Misconduct or Gross Misconduct, visit our Misconduct or Gross Misconduct pages.

If you are losing your job due to Capability then visit our Capability pages

If you think you may be suffering from disability discrimination then visit our disability discrimination pages

If you are being asked to sign a Compromise Agreement, then visit our Compromise Agreement pages.

If you are being put on Garden Leave then please see our Garden Leave pages


The site author/owner has endeavoured to give clear information to benefit the reader. The information is no substitute for obtaining specific advice about any claim you may have from a person qualified to give it. The examples, and circumstances described etc bear no relation to any actual case and any resemblance to real circumstances is purely accidental and unintentional. The site author/owner accepts no liability for any mistake, error or inconsistency in the text and the reader should ALWAYS OBTAIN specific advice about his/her own situation. In order to assist the reader, you can give your details so that a qualified advisor can call you free of charge and assist you further via CLAIM EVALUATOR