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The proposed change grabbing most of the headlines. Below is the detail and the practical implications of a shift in unfair dismissal qualification requirements.


The proposal

You’ll know that generally, employees need two years’ service to bring an unfair dismissal claim. Labour’s proposal does not quite allow every employee to bring a claim of unfair dismissal from their first day of employment (as the headlines have alluded to). But, they do say that employees will be entitled to bring claims for unfair dismissal once they have passed their ‘contractual probationary period’.

Practical impact

Not got probationary periods in your employment contracts? Well now would be a good time to think about introducing them!

Not reviewed the probationary periods in your employment contracts for a while? Again, it’s never been more important to check they’re well drafted, meaningful and work for your organisation.

Got all of the above but there’s inconsistency with your managers’ approach to probationary periods? Perhaps they ignore them, or employees are seldom written to with confirmation of their employment? Never has there been a better time to embed, train and review probation practices.


Reviewing and updating contracts – drafting great employment contracts is what we do! We start by looking at what you’ve already got, tell you what we think (we’re kind people and not out to embarrass anyone!) and then recommend changes based on three Cs – compliance, commercial opportunities for better protection and contemporary tone. Sound good? Get in touch here if you need our help.

Manager training – it might be that you want manager training on the whole nine yards (we call it ‘Spinning Plates Manager Training’) or just on probationary periods. If it’s about employment law we have a training solution. E-learning, remote training or in-person sessions – our training sessions are designed to create a safe and participatory learning environment to encourage personal growth, confidence and engagement. Get in touch here if you’d like to chat about your training needs.


This update is accurate on the date it was published but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.