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Unfair Dismissal

Unfair dismissal is the most common type of claim brought in Employment Tribunals.
 
If you have been dismissed and your employer has not followed a fair dismissal procedure, did not investigate the disciplinary matter properly and failed to consider alternatives to dismissal, you may have an unfair dismissal claim.

To proceed with an unfair dismissal claim:

  • You must be an employee (rather than an independent contractor or self employed),
  • and must have been working continuously for at least two years (although this requirement is subject to exceptions, for example, if the dismissal was pregnancy related).

What makes a Dismissal Unfair?

Under the Employment Rights Act, employers can argue that an employee has been dismissed for a "potentially fair reason" i.e. for a specified reason such as misconduct or ill-health.

When looking at whether the dismissal is fair or unfair will depend on whether an Employment Tribunal considers that the employer acted reasonably in all the circumstances.

If an employer falls short of the requirement to consider alternatives to an employee's dismissal such as demotion, deployment or other disciplinary action, or fails to carry out a proper investigation, an employee's dismissal may be regarded as unfair.

Most importantly, employers are required to adopt a 'fair procedure' in dismissing an employee. Under this procedure, employers need to write to an employee detailing the reasons why they are considering disciplinary action and that it can lead to their dismissal, invite the employee to a meeting, allow them to be accompanied to the meeting by either a trade union representative, a fellow worker or an official employed by a trade union. It is important to give the employee an opportunity to state their case, answer any allegations against them, ask questions, present evidence and call witnesses.

If dismissed, the employee must be offered a right of appeal against the dismissal.

An employer’s failure to adhere to this procedure may mean that an employee may be entitled to 'uplift' on any compensation, should their claims be successful.   

With offices in Leicester, Wigston and Market Harborough we are willing to discuss your employment law claim at any of our offices. In addition we are a national provider of expert employment law advice and welcome a free discussion with you regarding you circumstances and potential claim.  If you believe you have a situation where you require free legal advice, please contact us on telephone 01162121000 or 01858445480. Alternatively fill in the free Contact Us form above and we will get in touch as soon as possible. 

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