If you feel that your employer has dismissed you from employment without a good reason or has failed to follow a correct procedure when dismissing you then you may be able to pursue a claim for Unfair Dismissal in the Employment Tribunal.
If your employment commenced before 6th April 2012, then as a prerequisite to bringing a claim for unfair dismissal, you need to have worked for your employer for at least 12 months. Due to recent changes in Government legislation, anyone who commenced employment after 6th April 2012 will need to have worked for their employer for 2 years before they can bring a claim for unfair dismissal. However, there are certain exceptions to this rule. If you have suffered discrimination or have been dismissed for an Automatic Unfair Reason such as pregnancy, then you may be able to bring a claim regardless of your length of employment.
If you wish to claim unfair dismissal, you need to ensure that your claim is submitted within three months of the date of your dismissal. The actual date for dismissal can be slightly dubious, it is therefore important that you seek legal advice as soon as possible.
In deciding whether a dismissal is fair or unfair the Employment Tribunal will consider the following:
- Whether your employer had a Fair Reason for dismissing you
- If your employer had a Fair Reason for dismissing you, then whether the dismissal was fair in all the circumstances (did they follow a correct procedure for dismissal).
This means that if you were dismissed for a reason other than a fair reason then you may have a claim for unfair dismissal. However, even if your employer dismissed you for a fair reason, if they did not follow the correct procedure when carrying out the dismissal, you may still be able to pursue a claim.
It is up to the employer to prove that the dismissal was for a fair reason or that a correct procedure was followed.
In addition, if an employee is dismissed on discriminatory grounds, then he or she may also be able to bring a claim for Discrimination as well as Unfair Dismissal
What are Automatic Unfair Reasons?
The following are just a few examples of automatic unfair reasons for dismissal:
- Dismissal for asserting or attempting to assert a statutory right;
- Pregnancy or maternity related dismissal;
- Dismissal to do with a trade union issue;
- Dismissal following industrial dispute;
- Dismissal due to unfair selection for redundancy;
- Health and safety dismissal;
- Dismissal before, during or after the transfer of a business
If you have been dismissed from employment as a result of an Automatic Unfair reason, then your employer has no defence to any claim that you may make against them for Unfair Dismissal.
What are Fair Reasons?
The following maybe justifiable reasons for the employer to dismiss you:
- Conduct – Where you have broken one or more of the terms of employment. For example, continually missing work, theft/dishonesty, drug or alcohol abuse.
- Capability – Where you are not performing work to the required standard or if you are unable to do your job. For example due to lack of skill, poor attitude, poor health, physical or mental state.
- Statutory restriction – Where the employer would be breaking the law if they continued to employ you.
- Some other substantial reason – Where the employer has an overwhelming reason why you must be dismissed.
However, even if your employer appears to have a fair reason for dismissing you, a claim can still be brought against them if the dismissal has not been fair in all the circumstances and if a correct procedure for dismissal has not been followed.
Compensation for Unfair Dismissal
If the Employment Tribunal finds that your dismissal was unfair then there are three basic forms of compensation available for unfair dismissal
- Reinstatement – This is where you are reinstated back to your original job and are paid wages not received as a consequence of the dismissal. This is only usually awarded if the relationship with your employer has remained amicable
- Re-engagement – This is where you are re-employed in a comparable capacity, different to your original position. Again, this is only awarded if the relationship with your employer has remained amicable
- Compensation – This is monetary compensation and the most common remedy for unfair dismissal.
If you have any question or if you believe you may have been unfairly dismissed, please Contact us on 0800 644 1544 for a free consultation with one of our expert Solicitors. They will carry out an assessment of your situation and will tailor their advice specific to your circumstances.
If we believe you have a valid claim, we will advise you of this and if you choose to instruct us we will carry out full preparation of your case and represent you at the Employment Tribunal. In some instances it may even be possible to negotiate a settlement from the Employer even before the matter proceeds to Tribunal.Contact us