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B. Key Considerations

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Who is Covered by the Unfair Dismissals Acts?

In order for an Employee to be protected under the Unfair Dismissals Acts, they must generally meet the following criteria:

  • They must be aged between 16 and normal retirement age.
  • In the majority of cases they are required to have completed 12 months continuous service with their Employer.
  • The Acts do not apply during a period of training or probation not exceeding 12 months.  However, care must always be exercised in situations where an Employee with greater than 12 month’s service is to be dismissed for unsatisfactory completion of probation.

In order for an apprentice to be protected under the Unfair Dismissals Acts, they must generally meet the following criteria:

  • The apprentice must have completed 12 months service with their Employer.  The 12 months service may be completed as an Employee, an apprentice or a combination of both. 
  • The Acts do not apply during the first 6 months of any apprenticeship or within 1 month after the completion of the apprenticeship. 

Note that in certain cases, the reason for a dismissal may mean that the Employee does not need to satisfy the service criteria set out in this section.