Employment law

How to file for unfair dismissal

If you're about to embark on an application for unfair dismissal against your employer, our guide highlights the steps involved and your legal rights to ensure you have a thorough understanding of what's involved.

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Employment law solicitors

Slater and Gordon’s experienced solicitors are here to guide and support you throughout the unfair dismissal process and advise on what legal protection you have. Call us on 0330 041 5869 or contact us and we’ll call you.

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What can you expect from filing an unfair dismissal claim?

Being dismissed without fair reason is unlawful and you have the right to challenge your employer’s decision. Claiming unfair dismissal can be a complex process that requires multiple steps.

It’s important to take action as soon as possible and document any written evidence and event occurrences to help support your case.

What steps do you need to follow?

Before following this process, it’s highly recommended to seek expert legal advice to ensure that no time limits are missed. Our employment law specialists are on hand to clarify the strength of your case and support you through all developments of the case.

We’ve outlined the main stages of how to file for unfair dismissal against your employer:

  • Establish your case – is your situation classified as automatically unfair dismissal or ordinary unfair dismissal? Do you meet the eligibility criteria to bring an unfair dismissal claim? What is the employer’s potentially fair reason? Has the employer followed a fair process?
  • Consult your employer’s appeal process – your employer may have a course of action outlined to make a direct complaint, if this method does not proceed as expected, the case will need to be taken further.
  • Notify details of your claim to ACAS – developed as an independent body to help resolve workplace disputes, ACAS will offer you the option of ‘early conciliation’, a free service, usually taking up six weeks, which involves attempting to reach an agreement between you and your employer
  • ACAS certificate – if an acceptable outcome cannot be negotiated or either party does not wish to engage, ACAS will issue their certificate, a document that is required when proceeding with your claim to the employment tribunal
  • Submitting your ET1 form – you have three months less one day from the date your employment ends to bring your claim to an employment tribunal for unfair dismissal subject to any time spent in ACAS early conciliation. You will need to submit an ET1 form and detailed grounds of complaint to the tribunal with details on your case. You must get this step right as it may be difficult to change your claim at a later stage.
  • Response from your employer – the employment tribunal will contact your employer for a formal response. If the case does not settle, the tribunal will schedule a hearing
  • Tribunal orders – the tribunal will make orders for you to prepare your case for the hearing. This will usually including submitting a document that sets out the losses you're claiming (a schedule of loss) and the exchange of witness statements.
  • Tribunal hearing – your case will be heard and decided by a judge. If the tribunal declares your dismissal unfair, and depending on what you've requested by way of remedy, you can expect to either be offered compensation, be reinstated within your original role, or be re-engaged within another position in the business although the latter two are relatively rare remedies. Any compensation for loss of earnings is offset by earnings received in any new role.

Do I need the help of a lawyer?

Due to the complexity of an unfair dismissal case, it’s often wise to pursue the support of an employment law expert to guide you throughout the process. At Slater and Gordon, our specialist unfair dismissal solicitors have represented countless cases of this manner with the ability to manage your case effectively and offer a personalised service for your specific circumstances.

Although there's no legal requirement to have a lawyer acting on your behalf in an unfair dismissal claim, doing so will heighten your confidence that your case is being handled in a sophisticated and prompt manner with your best interests in mind. Our expert solicitors will take into account the outcome you wish to achieve at every stage of the process to ensure your position is taken into consideration upon resolution.

Having a lawyer with extensive experience in handling such cases on your side can be the difference between a win or lose outcome. We’re here to offer our support and expertise in managing such complex processes. Call us on 0330 041 5869, or contact us and we’ll call you.

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