A Reddit thread is gaining traction after one contributor asked "What is the most misunderstood right that UK employees have?"

Many responders have cited that employees are not aware that they only gain employment rights after two years of service.

Putting aside issues of discrimination and a few other exceptions, employees in the UK generally are only protected from being unfairly dismissed from their employment after two years of continuous service. Being protected from unfair dismissal means employees can only be lawfully dismissed for one of the five fair reasons, and their employer is also required to follow a fair process. 

An employee's termination date is therefore crucial, as it is used to calculate whether an employee has the required two years of service to be protected from unfair dismissal. 

However, a lot of employers and employees are unaware that in some circumstances, the statutory minimum notice period (one week per year of service) can extend an employee's termination date for the purposes of this calculation by one week, sometimes increasing their length of service over the two-year marker. 

Our Employment team can assist employees and employers with bringing and defending all types of Employment Tribunal claims, including unfair dismissal claims. If you are dismissing an employee, or have been dismissed by your employer very close to two years of service, please get in touch with a member of our Employment team for a confidential discussion.