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Can I extend my length of service so that I am eligible to bring a claim against my employer?

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If you are dismissed without notice you may wish to extend your length of service to enable you to bring a claim against your employer.  Our Employment team explain here whether this is possible and when you may be entitled to extend your length of service.

Both employers and employees are required to serve notice when bringing an employment contract to an end.   The minimum time period that is required is set out in the Employment Rights Act 1996 and is referred to as statutory notice. Your employer has to provide you with 1 weeks notice if you have been employed by the organisation for more than one month but less than two years, and 2 weeks notice if you have two or more years service, plus one additional week for every extra year worked.

If you have two or more years service, you are able to exercise key statutory rights such as bringing a claim against your employer for unfair dismissal, or receiving a statutory redundancy payment if you are dismissed by reason of redundancy. Occasionally, employers choose to dismiss an employee without notice to avoid claims being brought against them e.g. dismissing an employee before they complete two years continuous service to avoid an unfair dismissal claim.

When considering whether or not you can bring a claim against your employer, an Employment Tribunal will take into account the circumstances in which your contract of employment was terminated.

Unfair dismissal

If your employer has not given you the correct period of statutory notice, the Employment Tribunal can extend the termination date to include your statutory minimum notice period; this could give you the two years service necessary to bring an unfair dismissal claim against your employer.

It is important to note that including the statutory notice period will not change the time limit for bringing a claim to the Employment Tribunal; all unfair dismissal claims should be brought within 3 months less one day from the date you were dismissed.

Redundancy payments

For the purposes of redundancy, if you are made redundant without notice your employment will end on the date termination takes effect. This period can be extended to ensure you receive the statutory minimum notice to which you are entitled.

The Employment Tribunal will use this information to ascertain if you have the necessary two years' continuous employment to qualify for a statutory redundancy payment and the amount to which you are entitled.

However, no extension will be made if you have breached your employment contract. A breach will allow your employer to lawfully dismiss you without notice. 

If you are unsure about whether your length of service can be extended or if you are eligible to bring a claim against your employer, contact our Employment Team on 023 8071 7717 or email employment@warnergoodman.co.uk.

ENDS

This is for information purposes only and is no substitute for, and should not be interpreted as, legal advice.  All content was correct at the time of publishing and we cannot be held responsible for any changes that may invalidate this article.