Employment Law


What is an unfair dismissal?

If there is no fair reason for the dismissal, or if the correct procedures were not followed, this may lead to a claim of unfair dismissal. For example, dismissing an employee for wanting to take maternity leave would be unfair dismissal.

What are fair reasons for dismissing an employee?

There are five reasons for dismissal which are potentially fair capability and performance – the employee is not capable of performing the role due to lack of skills or ill health conduct – serious/repeated instances of misconduct by the employee redundancy – a reduction in the need for employees to carry out work contravention of statute – the employee is unable to lawfully carry out the role some other substantial reason – for example serious personality clashes. Even if an employer establishes a potentially fair reason for the dismissal, if they have not adopted a correct procedure the dismissal may be unfair. What the correct procedure is varies depending on the reason for the dismissal.

How long do I need to be in employment to be protected from an unfair dismissal?

Employees are protected from most kinds of unfair dismissal after they have two years’ continuous employment with the same employer.

How would a claim for unfair dismissal impact my business?

Unfair dismissal claims expose employers to the risk of costly tribunal disputes, losses of management time in preparing for and attending trial and potentially damaging publicity.

What is a wrongful dismissal?

Wrongful dismissal is based on contract law. This type of dismissal involves a breach of an employment contract by the employer which is connected with the actual dismissal of an employee, for example where an employee is dismissed without notice or the notice given is too short.

What is a constructive dismissal?

Constructive dismissal is when an employee is forced to leave their job against their will because of their employer’s conduct. If the relationship between the employer and employee has broken down to such an extent that the employee cannot continue to work for them, it may be possible for the employee to leave the job and bring a claim for constructive dismissal.

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.

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