If you have been dismissed and you believe that the reason for this is unfair and/or that the process leading to your dismissal was unfair, you may have an unfair dismissal claim and you may be able to claim compensation through an Employment Tribunal.

Our Employment team can advise you on whether you have good prospects of bringing a successful claim and provide representation if you bring tribunal proceedings. The team will also seek out if there is any scope for resolution with the other side without the need to issue a claim.

Most claims must be issued within a period of three months starting with the day your employment ended. You should seek advice at the earliest opportunity so that your case can be reviewed and prepared before the deadline. For constructive unfair dismissal claims, claims normally must be issued within three months of the event complained of.

Ordinary Unfair Dismissal

To be eligible to bring this claim you must have two years’ continuous service with your employer. There are five fair reasons for a dismissal:

  • Conduct
  • Performance/Capability
  • Redundancy
  • Illegality – e.g. not legally permitted to do the role
  • Some other substantial reason – e.g. a conflict of interest or a breakdown in relationship between colleagues.

Automatic Unfair Dismissal

These claims can be brought by an employee from their first day of employment. Examples of dismissals classed as automatically unfair are where the dismissal reasons relate to:

  • health and safety
  • asserting a statutory right
  • a maternity-related reason or a reason relating to leave for family reasons
  • acting as an employee representative or a trade union representative
  • a union related reason
  • the employee having brought proceedings relating to being part-time or fixed-term
  • national minimum wage or working time
  • whistleblowing
  • political opinions or affiliation.

Constructive Unfair Dismissal

If your employer has treated you in such a way that it has destroyed the trust and confidence that exists between you or the employer has committed some other serious breach of contract, you may be left with no option but to resign in response to the employer’s conduct. The resignation can be treated as a dismissal and is known as a ‘constructive dismissal’.

An employee needs to demonstrate that their employer has done something that is so serious it makes it untenable for the employee to remain in post. The employee must show the employer did more than just act unreasonably.

Examples of what can constitute constructive dismissal are:

  • Changing your job significantly without your consent/consultation
  • Harassment/bullying
  • Failure to pay you correctly
  • Where an employer fails to deal with a grievance you have raised.

We are able to refer to you a Personal Injury specialist within Ashtons Legal if you have suffered injury as a consequence of your employer’s actions/omissions.


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