Which statutory rights require a period of qualifying service?

An employee must complete a specified period of continuous service before qualifying for certain statutory rights. Except in specified circumstances, an employee cannot claim unfair dismissal until he or she has accrued two years' service. The same qualifying periods apply in relation to the right to request a written statement of reasons for dismissal. Two years' continuous service is required before an employee can claim a statutory redundancy payment.

An employee must have 26 weeks' continuous service to be entitled to statutory maternity pay; paternity leave and pay; statutory adoption pay; and the right to request flexible working. An employee will qualify for the right to take parental leave after one year's service. The requirement for 26 weeks' service for entitlement to statutory adoption leave was removed with effect from 5 April 2015.

For a full list of qualifying periods see Quick reference > Qualifying periods for statutory rights.