Unfair Dismissal Advice for Employees
If you feel your employer terminated your employment unfairly, either because of the reasons for dismissal, or because the process they used was unfair, you may have been unfairly dismissed and entitled to compensation at an Employment Tribunal.
What is unfair dismissal?
- your employer does not have a fair reason for dismissing you
- your employer didn’t follow a fair process when dismissing you
- you were dismissed for an automatically unfair reason
The five fair reasons for dismissal
- capability or qualifications
- your conduct at work
- redundancy (providing the reasons for selection are fair)
- a statutory requirement (e.g. holding a driving licence)
- some other substantial reason
Has your employer followed a fair process before dismissing you?
The ACAS Code of Practice recommends steps that an employer should take prior to dismissing an employee. There may also be a company disciplinary procedure that your employer should follow.
Automatic unfair dismissal
Some reasons for dismissal are automatically unfair. If your employer dismisses you for exercising one of your statutory employment rights you will have been automatically unfairly dismissed.
Examples of Automatically Unfair Dismissal
Dismissal related to Whistleblowing
If you have for example raised concerns about health and safety which have a public interest element and you have been dismissed as a result of raising these concerns.
Dismissal before, during or after business transfers
If the business you work for is being transferred to another company or taken over, you may be protected under the ‘Transfer of Undertakings’ (TUPE) regulations.
Dismissal on the grounds of pregnancy or maternity rights
If you are pregnant, you cannot be fairly dismissed because of any reason connected with your pregnancy.
Dismissal relating to your working time
You normally have the right to paid leave, rest breaks, as well as limiting the average hours per week your employer can ask you to work, any dismissal for exercising your rights in relation to these would be unfair
Dismissal relating to part-time or fixed-term work
As a part-time or fixed-term worker you should not be treated less favourably than a full-time or permanent employee.
Dismissal relating to trade union reasons
If you are dismissed for a reason around trade union membership, recognition or subscription funds it will be automatically unfair.
Dismissal during an industrial dispute
It is automatically unfair for your employer to dismiss you for taking part in legal industrial action that lasts 12 weeks or less. If the industrial action lasts longer than 12 weeks because your employer has not taken reasonable steps to resolve the dispute then you are protected from unfair dismissal.
Dismissal for taking action on health and safety grounds
You will have been unfairly dismissed if you are dismissed for carrying out any activities in your role as health and safety representative or for bringing to your employer’s attention a concern about health or safety in the workplace
Dismissal relating to activities as an employee representative
You cannot be fairly dismissed for being an employee representative for consultations with your employer about redundancies or business transfers.
What our clients say…
I was a senior manager with a major British construction company for 19½ years when I was summarily dismissed for gross misconduct with the charges against me being bullying and harassment. The allegations made against me were in my opinion unsubstantiated. The company HR department and the disciplinary panels did not carry out any investigations on my behalf into the allegations made against me. I went to the citizens advice bureau, which to be frank was a waste of time, so I contacted Baileyfields solicitors. Although time was short if I was going to tribunal I was called by Ms Natalie Kedge at 7 o’clock in the evening and she stated that after reading my notes that the company in her opinion had a case to answer and a meeting was arranged for the following day.
Ms Kedge was the first person during this whole sorry episode to give me words of support. On the second morning of the tribunal the company agreed not to contest the unfair dismissal and I was awarded £70k in compensation. I would have received nothing without the excellent work carried out on my behalf by Baileyfields and cannot thank them enough for the professionalism, support and encouragement accorded to me during what was a very traumatic time.
Mr C M McAllister
Have you been unfairly dismissed?
We offer a fixed fee meeting to discuss whether you may have a claim for unfair dismissal and to advise you on the steps that you need to take if you wish to bring a claim in the Employment Tribunal so that you can be compensated for your loss of earnings.