Unfair Dismissal Claims
What is Unfair Dismissal?
Unfair Dismissal is a statutory right giving employees with 1 year's qualifying service the right to bring a claim in the employment tribunal. There are exceptions to the 1 year rule, eg dismissal related to pregnancy or childbirth, or dismissal for "whistle-blowing" in health and safety cases.
A claim for unfair dismissal must be issued in the Employment Tribunal within 3 months of the effective date of termination (EDT). The time limits are very strict so you should ensure that your claim is issued in plenty of time.
The EDT can be ambiguous, so if you are unsure about the time limits in your case seek immediate advice.
What Makes a Dismissal Unfair?
i) The employer must show what was the reason for the dismissal. The reasons must be one of the potentially fair reasons (see below) or for some other substantial reason of a kind such as to justify dismissal;
ii) The Employment Tribunal will then decide whether it was fair to dismiss for that reason
Potentially fair reasons
a) a reason relating to the employee's capability or qualifications. Capability is assessed by reference to skill, aptitude, health or any other physical or mental quality.
b) a reason relating to the employee's conduct. Potential misconduct may include theft, fighting, disobedience, unauthorised absence, misuse of telephone, email or internet.
c) retirement (in certain circumstances this can be unfair and could constitute age discrimination);
d) redundancy. A number of issues may have to be considered to establish whether or not the reason for dismissal (ie redundancy), was fair, eg whether there was a genuine redundancy situation or whether the selection for redundancy was fair
e) the employee could not continue to work in the position he held without contravention of a duty or restriction imposed by or under an enactment; eg loss of a necessary qualification for doing the job, such as a delivery driver losing his driving licence.
or, as stated above, for some other substantial reason. This may be, for example, because the employer claims dismissal is necessary as a result of reorganisation of the business.
Automatic Unfair Dismissals: There are some cases where dismissal is automatically unfair and violate an employee's statutory rights. This includes dismissal due to parental leave, maternity leave or time off for dependents. If an Employment Tribunal identifies an automatic unfair dismissal, it can prescribe an uplift of compensation.
Incorrect Dismissal Process: If your employer has not followed the correct dismissal process then you could potentially claim compensation. For example, if they do not adhere to company regulations or basic employment guidelines.
Contact DSM Legal
If you believe you have been unfairly dismissed, contact the employment law solicitors at DSM Legal. We cover the whole of the Cheshire, Merseyside and Manchester areas. Call us on 01925 650151, or fill out our online form. Please provide as much information as you can to enable us to ensure that your enquiry is passed to the correct person.
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