All employees who have worked for their employer for more than two years are protected from unfair dismissal (see 'automatic unfair dismissal
' for exceptions to this two year rule). This means that their employer cannot simply dismiss them for any reason they like.
An employee with protection from unfair dismissal can only be dismissed for one of five potentially fair reasons. These five reasons are:
- Breach of a legal duty/illegality
- Incapability (including both poor performance and ill health)
- Misconduct (including gross misconduct)
- Some other substantial reason
Once an employer has identified a potentially fair reason for dismissal they must also follow a fair process. Although the specific process will depend upon the reason for the dismissal, a fair process will invariably involve advising the employee of the reason and meeting with the employee at least once to hear what the employee has to say.
An employee who has been unfairly dismissed may be able to bring a claim against the employer to the Employment Tribunal. As well as the possibility of being reinstated (if desired and possible) compensation of up to 12 months' pay (subject to a cap) can potentially be recovered.
If you have recently been dismissed please contact Nockolds' specialist Employment Team on 01279 755777 for a fixed fee initial consultation to discuss your treatment and whether your dismissal was unfair.