As first introduced by the Industrial Relations Act 1971 and then later in the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA 1996). Unfair dismissal is the termination of employment without fair disciplinary procedure or reasonable cause.
Your dismissal could be unfair if your employer does not:
- have a good reason for dismissing you
- follow the company’s formal disciplinary or dismissal process (or the statutory minimum dismissal procedure in Northern Ireland)
Situations when your dismissal is likely to be unfair include (but not exclusive to) if you:
- asked for flexible working
- refused to give up your working time rights – for example, to take rest breaks
- resigned and gave the correct notice period
- joined a trade union
- took part in legal industrial action that lasted 12 weeks or less
- needed time off for jury service
- applied for maternity, paternity and adoption leave
- were on any maternity, paternity and adoption leave you’re entitled to
- tried to enforce your right to receive Working Tax Credits
- exposed wrongdoing in the workplace (whistleblowing)
- were forced to retire (known as ‘compulsory retirement’)
Whether the dismissal is fair or not depends on how reasonable it is for the employer to use the circumstances as a sufficient reason for dismissing the employee.
What to do if you are unfairly dismissed?
If you are threatened with dismissal or have been dismissed, you can seek help from Harding Mitchell Solicitors to solve the issue by mediation, conciliation, and arbitration. If you are a member of a trade union, you may also speak with your union representative.
If the problem remains unsolved between yourself and your employer, you can proceed to an employment tribunal. However, there may be a qualifying period and claims must be made within three months of being dismissed.
For more information, please call Harding Mitchell Solicitors on 0203118080 or email email@example.com