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Even the best-briefed of us get into a muddle about unfair dismissal

Even the best-briefed people can make mistakes about employment law - sometimes even those who have had a hand in devising the legislation itself.

In a recent exchange at Prime Minister's Questions, David Cameron appeared to say that women taking maternity discrimination cases to an employment tribunal would have to be employed for two years to 'earn' this right.

The Government extended the qualifying period for unfair dismissal claims to two years for employees starting their job on or after 6 April 2012.

But the qualifying period does not apply for reasons which are considered to be 'automatically unfair'. These reasons include pregnancy, childbirth, maternity, maternity leave, and taking time off for ante-natal care.

Other automatically unfair reasons include dismissal for adoption leave, parental leave, and for making or proposing to make an application for flexible working arrangements. There are many more reasons besides.

As it isn't always easy to keep track of the minutiae of employment legislation, why not make full use of free, impartial, expert advice on the Acas Helpline. Call 0300 123 1100.

Acas also offers practical training to put you in the picture, including an Employment law update, plus courses on Discrimination and Maternity, paternity and adoption.

Visit the Acas Training and Business Solutions area for more information.

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