Unfair Dismissal


Unfair dismissal claims are the most common types of claims brought in Employment Tribunals.

If you have been dismissed and your employer has not followed a fair procedure (this applies to redundancy dismissals as well), including not carrying out a proper investigation and/or failing to consider alternative options to dismissal (such as a reduction in hours or other cost savings ) , you may have a claim for unfair dismissal.

What are the qualifying criteria for bringing an unfair dismissal claim?

To proceed with a claim for unfair dismissal, you must:

  • Be an employee and not an independent contractor or self-employed and
  • Have been employed for the minimum qualifying period of two years (though this requirement is subject to exceptions):

What makes a dismissal unfair?

Under the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA) an employer can argue that they had a potentially fair reason for dismissal, i.e. for a specified reason such as misconduct or inability to perform the role.

Whether the Employment Tribunal considers a dismissal to be fair or unfair will depend on whether they believe an employer has been reasonable in all the circumstances. Where an employer has failed to conduct a proper investigation or failed to allow the employee an opportunity to put their version of events forward then the dismissal will be seen to be unfair.

What is constructive unfair dismissal?

Constructive unfair dismissal claims are complex claims to bring, to succeed in such a claim, an employee must show that:

  • Their employer committed a serious breach of contract;
  • The employee resigned as a result of that breach; and
  • The employee did not delay in resigning as a result of that breach.

What are the time limits for an unfair dismissal claim?

The time limit for bringing a claim for unfair dismissal in the Employment Tribunal is three months less one day from the date of the dismissal.

What remedies are available?

Employees who are successful in their claim for unfair dismissal can request reinstatement (returning to their old job) or compensation, though they will have to make every attempt to find alternative employment.

How can we help?

If you feel you’ve been unfairly dismissed or been placed in a position where you are considering resignation then we are experts in this field so please contact us on 0113 350 4030 or complete the contact form for a free 30 minute telephone consultation.

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