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The law on termination of employment can differ according to how long the employee has worked for you. For employees with short service, termination on the ground of redundancy can be relatively straightforward.
As a general rule, short-serving employees do not have the right to claim unfair dismissal. An employee cannot generally make a claim for unfair dismissal unless they have been employed for two years or more where their employment commenced on or after 6 April 2012, or one year or more where their employment commenced on or before 5 April 2012. There is an ever-growing list of exceptions to this rule (these exceptions are known as the automatically unfair dismissal reasons) and so it is always wise to take legal advice on any dismissal. In addition, employees can claim they have been unlawfully discriminated against because of their sex, married or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, race, disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, age or religion or belief regardless of their length of employment. That said, the general legal position is that if you wish to dismiss a short-serving employee as a result of redundancy, the dismissal can be reasonably easy. For these employees, their only legal entitlements are to their contractual notice period (or to pay in lieu if you do not wish them to work out this period), to all outstanding wages and to pay in lieu of accrued but untaken annual leave entitlement. As the employee has less than two years’ service, they are also not entitled to a statutory redundancy payment. However, you will need to check to see if you have provided for a contractual redundancy payment scheme.
Now that the dismissal and disciplinary procedure (DDP) has been abolished, there are no procedural requirements that you must comply with in relation to making a short-serving employee redundant as a result of an economic downturn or a business re-organisation. You can, if you wish, simply issue the Dismissal on Notice Due to Redundancy Letter. However, if you do wish to hold a prior meeting with the employee, use our Notification of Potential Redundancy Meeting. It invites the employee to a meeting to discuss their proposed redundancy.