The rule that staff must be employed for at least one year before they canmake unfair dismissal claims has been called into question. Judith Fiddler of Manchester law firm Rowe and Cohen said a recent decision bya Stratford employment tribunal fundamentally changes the interpretation oflaw. The case involved an employee sacked 10 months after starting a job whosemanager thought it unnecessary to follow statutory procedure or arrange adisciplinary hearing because of the 12-month rule. The tribunal decided the manager was legally obliged to follow properprocedure – and had he done so the employee would have been in the job for morethan a year. In these circumstances the employee now has the right to claim for”loss of chance” to claim unfair dismissal. The sacked employee succeeded in claiming an award for loss of earnings andeven loss of his statutory rights. However, the tribunal reduced his award by25 per cent because it thought it was likely he would have been dismissedanyway. Fiddler warned employers to brace themselves for a deluge of additionalclaims that could clog up the already straining tribunal system. She said, “The Government is actively seeking ways to discouragespurious claims by increasing awards against frivolous and vexatiousapplicants. “But its plans have completely backfired. Now the floodgates are openeven further and employers should redraft their contracts without delay.” JohnAdsett, secretary of the Association of Healthcare Human Resource Managers,said the ruling, assuming it is not overturned on appeal, would meanunscru-pulous employers would have to be careful if they sacked workersunfairly within 12 months. He said, “Whatever the length of service thingsshould be done properly. The fact that someone has been in a job less than 12months should not affect the way an employer handles that employee atall.” By Richard Staines Man employed less than a year ‘unfairly dismissed’On 1 May 2001 in Vexatious claims, Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed.