Has your employment been terminated without fair reason?

If you feel this is the case, you could be eligible to make a claim against your employer. Read on to find out more about unfair dismissal in the workplace and call our unfair dismissal solicitors on 0808 164 0808.

Click here for information regarding the funding of your unfair dismissal claim.

What is unfair dismissal?

If you are “let go” by the company you work for, and they fail to provide fair reasoning for this decision, this would be classed as unfair dismissal by law. You are also protected by the law if your employer terminates your contract without following the correct dismissal procedure. This would sometimes cross over into wrongful dismissal.

Who can bring an unfair dismissal claim?

To be able to bring a claim against your employer, you must have been dismissed and have at least two years’ service completed for that employer.

I’ve worked with my employer for over two years. What are my rights?

If you have been employed continuously for at least two years, you will be entitled to certain legal rights, including the right not to be dismissed without fair reason.

In the event of a dismissal, your employer must prove that the reasoning falls under one of the categories set out by the Employment Rights Act 1996, which are listed below:

  • Capability or qualifications: being unable to fulfil your job requirements, or being dishonest in your qualifications to gain the position.
  • Conduct: this includes misdemeanours such as theft of company property or information, taking time off without permission, abusive or degrading behaviour or persistent lateness.
  • Redundancy:  There are four potential issues which might make a redundancy dismissal unfair. These are if: there was not a genuine redundancy situation; the employee was unfairly selected for redundancy; there was inadequate consultation with the employee, or the employer fails to seek alternative work for the employee.
  • Statutory Illegality: This is where continued employment would result in breach of statutory law. For example, if an employee does not have the right to work, you would be able to rely on the reason of illegality for dismissal. Another example would be if you broke the law and could no longer fulfil a main part of your job role, i.e losing your driver’s license when your job requires you to drive.
  • Any other substantial reason: This is somewhat of a “blanket” category for other legitimate reasons. Examples includes: conflict of interest; personality clashes; breakdown of mutual trust and confidence.

What are grounds for unfair dismissal in the workplace?

You may be wondering about real-life situations where somebody could be unfairly dismissed. These unfair reasons can differ depending on your workplace, but below are some common scenarios:

  • Requesting time off to fulfil jury service
  • Joining a Trade Union
  • Being forced to take compulsory retirement without justification
  • Requesting flexibility with working hours and/or setup
  • Refusal to give up working time rights, for example to take rests or breaks
  • Applying for maternity, paternity or adoption leave/being on maternity, paternity or adoption leave
  • Whistleblowing (exposing wrongdoing in the workplace)
  • Trying to receive Working Tax Credits

Note: if you take your employer to tribunal over unfair dismissal and they try to prove fair reasoning for any of the above scenarios, it will be up to the employment tribunal to make the final decision regarding your claim. Our unfair dismissal lawyers can discuss this with you, and any other queries you may have during the claims process.

How long after dismissal can I claim unfair dismissal?

The standard time limit for issuing an unfair dismissal claim is three months less one day from the termination of your employment. You must act quickly.

It’s important to seek the advice of our unfair dismissal solicitors as soon as you can, even if you’re not sure about whether your situation classifies as unfair dismissal. Then, the next step in the process where we may be able to help is getting in touch with ACAS, to start off the process with your employer. This will involve looking at “early conciliation”. This can take up to six weeks, so it’s important to act as fast as you can.

In certain circumstances, our legal team can assist you in the ACAS process, or help you bring a tribunal claim following discussions with ACAS.

Can I claim unfair dismissal during probation?

It’s in every employer’s best interests to avoid the risk of unfair dismissal claims, and probationary period dismissals are no exception. While the law states you have to have worked with your employer for at least two years before you can claim, there are types of dismissal that do not require this length of service or reduces the length of service requirement. These types of claims would be categorised as automatic unfair dismissal.

Your employer cannot dismiss you for the following reasons: :

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Race
  • Religion/belief
  • Marriage or civil partnership
  • Pregnancy or maternity
  • Gender reassignment
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation

You can also claim unfair dismissal in the workplace if you’ve been penalised for whistleblowing during your probationary period.

What happens if my claim is successful?

If you win your case for unfair dismissal/automatic unfair dismissal, the Employment Tribunal will then decide what to award you. Aside from compensation, you could possibly ask for your job back (although many people who are unfairly dismissed do not want this), or you could potentially ask for a different role with the same employer, if you wanted to.

The amount of compensation you receive will depend entirely on your unique situation. Should you choose to instruct our employment law experts to handle your claim, your solicitor will give you full transparency on any monetary updates during the process.

Contact our unfair dismissal lawyers today

If you believe you have been unfairly dismissed, whether it’s during your probationary period or thereafter, get in touch with our team today. You can call us free on 0808 164 0808 or request a call back.

DISCLAIMER: As mentioned above, you have three months less one day from the date of dismissal to take action, meaning you should act quickly.

We recommend you speak to one of our employment lawyers in the first instance. As part of the process, you’ll need to get in touch with the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS), who will aim to achieve early conciliation with your employer. However, our lawyers can assist in this process where appropriate and once have formally been instructed.

Please be aware that the ACAS process can take up to around six weeks to complete… If the conciliation procedure is unsuccessful, we may be able to support you with your tribunal claim. If you feel you have a potential employment claim please act quickly and contact us today.