The Employment Appeals Tribunal has held that where an employee is summarily dismissed (with immediate effect) during their notice period, the effective date of termination is brought forward from the date on which the notice is due to expire to the date on which the employee is summarily dismissed.

What does this mean?

Summarily dismissing an employee who is serving a notice period will in some cases prevent an employee from accruing one year’s service, which is a prerequisite for an unfair dismissal claim. However, summary dismissal in such circumstances may be viewed as victimisation and thereby give rise to a claim of ‘automatic’ unfair dismissal for which no minimum length of service is required.

What should employers do?

Employers should always take specific legal advice before dismissing an employee.