A Quick Guide to Unfair Dismissal

unfair dismissal advice

Unfair dismissal can be a tough experience, so our experts here at We Talk Law have put together a quick guide about some things you should know about unfair dismissal and your employment rights. These are:

What is unfair dismissal?

When an employer dismisses you, it may be considered unfair if it is for any of these reasons:

  • your employer doesn’t have a fair reason for dismissing you
  • your employer didn’t follow the correct process for dismissing you
  • you were dismissed for an automatically unfair reason.

Automatically unfair dismissal.

An automatically unfair reason is when an employer dismisses you for exercising your legal employment rights. These include a right to a written statement of employment particulars, an itemised pay statement, a minimum notice period, parental leave, and the right to request flexible working arrangements.

It’s always best to reconcile if possible.

Before making any sort of complaint about unfair dismissal, you should try to resolve the dispute between you and your employer, and discuss the reasons for your dismissal. Usually in most contracts of employment there are provisions for how you raise a grievance or complaint. Follow the advised procedure.

If you do not have this in your contract of employment then raise the matter with the person who is responsible for you in your work place or directly to the main boss. If you and your employer for some reason can’t resolve the situation on your own, you can also try the Labour Relations agency, who have specialists who can help you sort out the situation.

Always keep notes and copies.

When you’re making your case to your employer, always keep clear written notes of any conversations, telephone calls, or meetings . You should always keep copies of any letters and emails sent as well as received. This helps you to track the situation, and can help you should the dispute move to what’s called an industrial tribunal.

Who can and can’t appeal.

If you think you’ve been dismissed unfairly, you can make a claim to a tribunal. However, you will need to  have worked for the employer for one year before you can make a claim. This doesn’t apply to automatically unfair dismissal, when you can make a claim no matter how long you were employed for. You can’t make a complaint if you are:

  • a worker rather than an employee
  • a member of the armed forces
  • self-employed
  • an agency temp
  • a member of the police

What happens if you win?

If an industrial tribunal rules in your favour, you will usually be awarded some compensation. Sometimes you may be given the opportunity to go back to your job and employer. Taking your job back is not compulsory, but your compensation can be lower if you don’t. Compensation is designed to put you back where you were, financially speaking, if you hadn’t been dismissed. It’s made up of a basic award,( which is calculated based on your age and length of service), and a compensatory award. Both of which are subject to maximum limits reviewed every year.

What happens if you lose?

If you lose your appeal, you can always ask the tribunal to review its decision. However, the grounds for doing so are limited. For example, you can’t appeal if you think the tribunal just got the facts wrong.

Where can I get help?

If  after you have tried the steps above you need further help , remember that you can call us to speak to our legal experts. Phone us for an assessment on 0203 002 4898, or email us at [email protected]. We’re open 7 days a week, and always on hand to help.

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