Rights of Non-Qualifying Employee on Dismissal
If an employee is not a qualifying employee (ie. he or she does not have two years' continuous service, or one year if they started employment before 6th April 2012), he or she has no access to an employment tribunal to complain that dismissal was unfair.
He or she can however, claim in the employment tribunal and Courts for damages for wrongful dismissal, based on breach of the employment contract. The limit in the employment tribunal for breach of contract is £25,000. Potentially unlimited damages for breach of contract can also be sought in the High Court.
For wrongful dismissal, the employee must show that you, as the employer, were in breach of the employment contract. Such a breach may comprise, for instance, dismissal before the end of a fixed term or dismissal without giving the employee his contractual notice.
Because of the employment tribunal compensation limits which apply to all unfair dismissals and for breach of contract, senior executives prefer to use the Courts, where, for instance, the unexpired term of a contract or a notice entitlement under a fixed term contract could result in the award of significant compensation for breach of contract.
Employees with less than two years' service may, however, claim that their dismissal is discriminatory (on the grounds of sex, race, disability etc.) and therefore unlawful, or that it is automatically unfair for one of the reasons specified in the legislation.