Unfair Dismissal Solicitors
If you have been dismissed from your job and you want to bring an unfair dismissal complaint in an employment tribunal, you should seek professional legal advice promptly. There are strict time limits for bringing complaints to an employment tribunal.
As a specialist employment law practice we have expertise in assessing whether you have good chance of winning an unfair dismissal claim. If you have a good arguable case for unfair dismissal, most employers will engage in discussions for an “out-of-court” settlement to avoid employment tribunal litigation. Call us to see how we could help you.
What is unfair dismissal?
Unfair dismissal is a legal term in employment law. The law gives employees who have at least two years’ service with their employer the right not to be unfairly dismissed. This means, if you have been with your employer for two years, to fairly dismiss you the employer must have a reason that is set out in law as being potentially fair.
The most common potentially fair reasons employers rely on to dismiss staff are redundancy, the conduct of the employee and the employee’s capability to do the job, which will usually be either ill health or performance in the job.
If you have the required two years’ service and you think your dismissal was unfair, you can take your former employer to an employment tribunal for it to decide whether or not the dismissal was fair. If you win, the remedy is usually financial compensation. You can ask the tribunal for your job back, but this happens only exceptionally where is it practically possible to do so.
When you make an employment tribunal complaint for unfair dismissal, the employer will be required to show that it had one of the potentially fair reasons to dismiss you. It must also show it acted reasonably in reaching its decision to dismiss you. If the employer cannot show these the dismissal is likely to be unfair.
What is constructive unfair dismissal?
An employee who is dismissed from his job by an employer might have reason to claim unfair dismissal.
Constructive dismissal is where an employee resigns in response to an act, or a series of acts, by the employer that amount to a fundamental breach of the employment contract. The fundamental breach of the contract entitles the employee to bring a claim for constructive unfair dismissal.
How does an employee prove constructive unfair dismissal?
Constructive unfair dismissal claims are often complex and difficult to prove. You should seek legal advice from an employment solicitor at an early stage and before you resign. If you are facing difficulties at work, give us a call. The initial telephone consultation is free and without obligation. As an expert employment solicitor, the principal at the firm knows how the law on unfair dismissal and constructive dismissal operates and can guide you, advise you on the law and the strategy to adopt in approaching your matter.
The starting point for a constructive unfair dismissal claim is that the employee must show that he or she resigned in response to an act, or a series of acts, by the employer that amount to what is known in employment law as a “repudiatory” or “fundamental” breach of the employment contract. This in simple terms means that the breach of contract must be an important matter. Examples of potential repudiatory breaches of an employment contract include non-payment of wages, employer imposed material changes to the terms in the contract of employment and an act or acts that seriously damage or destroy trust and confidence in employer-employee relationship.
By resigning in response to the breach contract, the employee is treated as having been dismissed by the employer. This entitles the individual to bring a complaint in an employment tribunal for constructive unfair dismissal.
The two year minimum service requirement, as is needed for normal unfair dismissal claims, is also needed to claim for constructive unfair dismissal.
In constructive unfair dismissal claims, the employee must first prove that there was a fundamental breach of the employment contract. Because of that, they are generally considered to be more difficult for an employee to win than where the employee was dismissed by the employer.
What if I was dismissed because of discrimination?
If you believe that you were dismissed from your job because of unlawful discrimination, you can make a complaint to an employment tribunal without the need for two years’ service, or any minimum service.
The complaint would be for discrimination rather than unfair dismissal. See our page on discrimination for more information.
What is automatic unfair dismissal?
Certain categories of employees receive additional protection from dismissal so that they don’t need to have any minimum service period.
Examples of these categories are employees dismissed for pregnancy related reasons, or whistleblowers or employees who assert their statutory rights. In such situations, the employee would be entitled to bring a claim against the employer for automatic unfair dismissal without any minimum service requirement.
What remedies do I get if the employment tribunal finds I was unfairly dismissed?
If you win a claim for unfair dismissal in an employment tribunal, the usual remedy is financial compensation.
However, the employment tribunal also has power to order the employer to take the employee back into the old job or a different job, although it is very rare for a tribunal to exercise that power.