Unfair Dismissal

In the period 2019/2020, over 21,000 claims were brought in the Tribunal for Unfair Dismissal.

Dismissed employees may bring unfair dismissal claims against their employer in various circumstances, ordinarily when they feel that their dismissal is for a reason which is either not genuine, or discriminatory in some manner. You are protected from your employer dismissing you from employment for an unfair reason and/or if they conduct an unfair process to decide to dismiss you. For example, if your employer decides to dismiss you because you have taken a period of maternity leave, or without running a fair and objective redundancy process, you may have the right to bring a claim for unfair dismissal in the Tribunal.

An employee usually needs to have a minimum of two years’ service to bring an unfair dismissal claim against their employer, but there are various claims which are “automatically unfair” for which there is no minimum service requirement.

Examples of automatically unfair dismissals are where there has been a dismissal due to:

  • A “protected characteristic” such as race, gender or maternity;
  • Whistleblowing;
  • An employee refusing to attend a dangerous or unsafe workplace.

These claims are complex and it may not always be obvious if you have a claim or on what grounds. If you think you may have been unfairly dismissed, you should seek legal advice at the earliest available opportunity after dismissal, as there are strict time limits for bringing claims in the Tribunal.

Wrongful Dismissal

You may have a claim for wrongful dismissal if your employer has breached your contract of employment in some way. A common example of this is where you are dismissed without being paid the correct salary or notice period. Claims for wrongful dismissal do not have a minimum required length of service and the value will depend on how much your employer should have paid you if they had done so lawfully.

Wrongful dismissal claims can be run alongside other claims for breaches of your employment rights and our solicitors can advise on whether you are entitled to bring such a claim in either the Tribunal or other court.

Constructive Dismissal

The basis of a constructive dismissal claim arises when an employer breaches a critical element of the Contract of Employment and you resign in response.

Constructive dismissal claims are very difficult claims, and should generally be used as a last resort when all other avenues of recourse have been exhausted. It is preferable that you seek legal advice before you decide whether to resign and we can advise you as to whether there are alternative remedies available to you. We can also assist with advising you on the merits of any claim you may consider bringing after you have resigned.

Our Approach

We will take a detailed background of the dispute from you, and advise you as to which of your employment rights may have been unlawfully breached by your employer, the claims available to you and potential remedies. We will take time to explain possible next steps, as it is rarely cost-efficient or effective to go directly to Tribunal or court claims. We may be able to negotiate with your employer on your behalf to secure a settlement, manage and advise on pursuing the matter through your employer’s grievance process or other available routes to resolve your dispute without having to resort to Tribunal claims.

Our focus is on achieving the best and most cost-efficient outcome for you. We always consider Tribunal claims as a “last resort” after we have exhausted other options, so you are not bearing a cost burden. Our approach to advising clients on their employment disputes is to deal with each matter on a case-by-case basis and consider all the relevant factors, before presenting you with the range of options available to you.

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