What happens if I have been unfairly dismissed?

News Article

Whether you have been made redundant without substantial notice, sacked on the spot or asked to leave following a period of tension, losing a job can be a stressful experience – and in some cases, you might feel that your employer’s decision was unfair.

If you believe you have been unfairly dismissed, there are a number of steps you can take.

However, from the date your employer lets you go, you will only have three months (less one day) to start taking action, so it is important to act fast and seek specialist advice as soon as you can.

Under existing laws, a dismissal is usually deemed ‘fair’ if an employer is able to demonstrate that you have been dismissed due to:

  • Your conduct
  • Genuine redundancy
  • A lack of capability or qualifications for the role
  • Illegality
  • Some other substantial reason which clearly justifies your dismissal

However, there are also a number of grounds which are automatically deemed ‘unfair’, such as if you have requested your right to the National Minimum Wage (NMW) and been refused, if you have made a protected disclosure or if you have been terminated for a reason connected to your pregnancy.

Dismissals will usually be deemed ‘automatically unfair’ if the reason behind the dismissal relates to an employee simply exercising their rights, such as joining a trade union, whistleblowing or taking action on a health and safety issue.

However, in some cases, the distinctions between fair and unfair dismissal might not be so clear-cut.

Even if the reason you have been dismissed would usually be deemed ‘fair’, such as poor conduct, for example, an Employment Tribunal might consider your dismissal ‘unfair’ if your employer did not act reasonably – i.e. they may not have followed fair disciplinary procedures before letting you go.

Anyone who feels they have been dismissed unfairly should seek legal advice. If your employer did not follow a reasonable procedure during the dismissal process, you might be able to take legal action against them and seek compensation.

Although, employees must have held their job for at least two years prior to being dismissed, to earn the right to challenge their employer, there are a number of automatically unfair dismissals which do not require a set continuous service period.

For more information about how Palmers Solicitors can help, please contact us.