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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.

Qualifications for bringing 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.
  • Whether the dismissal is fair or unfair will turn 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 and must follow a fair dismissal procedure. Under this procedure, employers must write to an employee detailing the reasons why they are considering dismissal, invite the employee to a meeting, allow the employee to be accompanied to the meeting by either a trade union representative, a fellow worker or an official employed by a trade union. The employee must be given 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 an 'uplift' on any compensation up to 50%.

Remedies

  • Those employees who are successful in their claim for unfair dismissal can request reinstatement (returning to their old job); re-engagement (returning to work for the same employer, but in a different role); and/or compensation.
  • In order to achieve the maximum possible compensation, employees must be seen to have attempted to find alternative employment.

If you think you have been unfairly dismissed, phone Ashley Hunt,  Vaishali Thakerar or Carrie-Ann Randall on 0116 212 1000 or complete the form on the right. Lawson-West offer a free initial consultation so it won't cost you a penny to find out whether you have a claim for unfair dismissal. We also run a number of free walk-in advice clinics at our offices in Leicester, Wigston & Market Harborough.
 
Lawson-West will make sure that your case is funded on the most appropriate basis and that will often be on a No Win No Fee basis. This means that Lawson-West have a vested interest in ensuring your employment claim is successful.
 
Lawson-West, solicitors, can also offer advice on constructive unfair dismissal if you feel you have had to resign because of your employer's behaviour or conduct, and advice on wrongful dismissal if you have been dismissed in breach of your employment contract.