Employment law

Unfair reasons for dismissal

If you believe you’ve been unfairly dismissed from work, you may be able to challenge your employer’s decision. This guide provides unfair dismissal examples and explains the steps you can take if you want to challenge the decision.

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Employment law solicitors

Slater and Gordon’s experienced solicitors are here to support and guide you if have been unfairly dismissed at work. Call us on 0330 041 5869 or contact us and we’ll call you.

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What is unfair dismissal?

If you think your employer has dismissed you unfairly, you can challenge their decision if your dismissal meets certain conditions. Your termination of employment may be deemed unfair if your employer cannot prove that your dismissal falls under one, or more, of the categories set by the Employment Rights Act 1996.

Unfair dismissal is a result of being discharged from your duties unlawfully, whereas constructive dismissal occurs when your employer acts in fundamental breach of your contract (which includes the implied term of trust and confidence) and forces you to resign from your position.

For clarity on whether or not your dismissal is unfair, you’ll need to review your employment status and reasons for dismissal. In most circumstances, you can usually only challenge the decision if you’ve worked for the company for two years or more.

What reason do people claim for unfair dismissal?

Some cases classify as automatically unfair reasons for dismissal where the two-year requirement does not apply. Automatic unfair dismissal examples include:

What are the fair reasons for dismissal?

If your employer has given one, or more, of the below justifications for your dismissal, the situation may be considered fair:

  • Lack of capability or qualification for the work you were employed for
  • Poor conduct to perform your duties such as poor attendance, dishonesty or failure to follow instructions
  • Genuine redundancy, meaning your position and activities within it will no longer be fulfilled or the place of work has closed down,
  • Continuation of employment is no longer available. Such instances include losing your license when your job requires you to drive or losing your right to work in the UK
  • Other substantial explanations that do not fall into the above categories, including unreasonable refusal to changes in your contract, a lack of culture or personality fit with your employer, and non-renewal of a fixed-term contract

What happens if your dismissal is deemed unfair?

If the employment tribunal deems your dismissal unfair, employers may be ordered to reinstate you or reengage you within a different role in the business although these remedies are relatively rare and may not be practically possible. Compensation may also be included depending on the case at hand.

If you feel you’ve been unfairly dismissed, you have three months less one day from the date your employment ends to commence ACAS early conciliation. We understand that cases like these can be difficult to prove, which is why our experts will provide a full assessment of the chances of success from the outset. Having supported our clients through a variety of unfair dismissal claims, we’ll advise on the support required within your initial consultation for complete clarity.

To speak to an experienced employment solicitor, call us on 0330 041 5869 or contact us and we’ll call you.

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