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If you're sacked over a H&S issue, does the 2 year thing still apply?(7 Posts)
A friend worked as a handyman/caretaker in a care home. He's been there about 18 months and expressed several concerns on H&S issues. The last straw came when he was asked to do some electrical work, which requires a qualified electrician. He's not en electrician, has never claimed to be and was not employed as such. He refused to do the work and was sacked.
As I understand it, as he hasn't been there 2 years they can sack him for any or no reason, but I seem to remember there is some redress if it's a health and safety issue?
Sorry. I think there is more to it
Tell him to speak to acas
He can indeed claim unfair dismissal despite not having 2 years service if he was dismissed for taking action about a health and safety issue. He has 3 months less one day from the date of dismissal to contact ACAS for early conciliation with a view to making an employment tribunal claim.
Yes, ACAS was my first suggestion, although initially I thought there probably wasn't much they could do, but somewhere in the back of my mind I thought H&S might be different.
As MrsSquiggler says, if he has been dismissed for taking action over a health & safety issue that is automatically unfair and the 2 year limit does not apply. ACAS will try to help him and the employer settle the dispute. If that fails your friend can take the matter to employment tribunal. But he needs to get moving.
I think this employee needs to talk through the specific circumstances with ACAS, because it sounds to me like there was more to it than you're aware of.
When they dismissed him, did they give him a specific reason why? Did they put anything in writing? Was it summary dismissal, ie pack your bag and leave?
Before lodging for Tribunal, he needs to be clear about the circumstances, as there will always be two sides to the story, his and the employer's. It doesn't stack up that someone who'd been working fine for 18 months would suddenly get the sack out of the blue, and because their employer asked them to do wiring when they knew he wasn't qualified. Sorry to sound sceptical, it just sounds odd to me.
Another thought.... If the employer perceived there was a potential risk for a public enquiry through various escalations he had tried to make re H&S concerns they could have used this latest episode to force the issue to part company.
Does the employee have any proof, either witnesses or dates and time plus circumstances he can use as evidence, as you can bet your bottom dollar they'll lie through their teeth if they can get away with it.