Unfair Dismissal

Employees who have been continuously employed with the same employer for at least two years have the right not to be unfairly dismissed. 

If your employer is proposing a dismissal in these circumstances, your employer must show a ‘potentially fair’ reason for your unfair dismissal and then follow a correct process when seeking to dismiss you.

Reasons for Unfair Dismissal

The five potentially fair reasons for dismissal are as follows:

  • Capability – where the employee lacks the capability or qualification to do the work
  • Conduct – the misconduct or gross misconduct of the employee, such as dishonesty or poor attendance
  • Redundancy – where there is a genuine redundancy situation
  • Statutory Illegality – where continued employment would contravene a statute, such as a driving ban on the employee
  • Some other substantial reason (a dismissal which does not fall within any of the above reasons, such as a personality clash)

As well as showing the dismissal is for one of the above fair reasons, your employer must also show that they have acted reasonably in treating that reason as a sufficient reason for your unfair dismissal. 

Your employer must also follow a correct process. For example, in a redundancy dismissal, your employer must follow a proper consultation and selection process. In a dismissal based on misconduct or performance, your employer must follow the ACAS code of practice guidelines which provide that there should be sufficient investigations, evidence and warnings.

An employee who is successful in bringing a claim of unfair dismissal in the Employment Tribunal, will be awarded financial compensation made up of a basic award (equivalent to a statutory redundancy payment) and a compensatory award which is compensation for loss of earnings which have arisen as a result of the dismissal. The compensatory award is capped at £105,707 or annual salary, whichever is the lower.

How can we help you?

If you are going through a dismissal process which you believe is unfair, please contact our Employment Law team who have extensive experience in advising employees and senior executives in relation to unfair dismissal claims. We can advise you whether your employer has a fair reason to dismiss you and has followed a fair process and discuss any potential claims you may have as a result. If you are facing an unfair dismissal situation, it may also be possible for us to negotiate an agreed mutual exit and financial settlement on your behalf.

Please contact our team on 0345 646 0406 or fill in our online enquiry form and a member of our Team will be in touch.