Unfair Dismissal Solicitors

Being dismissed from your job is stressful enough, but it’s particularly hard if you feel your dismissal is unfair or if you’ve been forced to resign.

As an employee, your employment rights are protected, including your right not to be dismissed unfairly. However, your employer also has rights. They can terminate your contract with or without notice, assuming their reasons are valid, justifiable and they act reasonably in the circumstances.

What is unfair dismissal?

Unfair dismissal is when your employer dismisses you from work without good reason, or if they have failed to follow the correct dismissal process.

Whilst it depends on each situation, an employee is usually considered fairly dismissed if:

  • there was a fair reason; and
  • the reason was sufficient to justify a dismissal; and
  • the employer followed a proper and fair procedure.

An unfair dismissal is one where the employer does not do the above.

What is an automatically unfair dismissal?

Even if the employer has acted reasonably and followed a fair procedure, the reason for the dismissal may be automatically unfair.

Examples include being dismissed because:

  • you are pregnant or on maternity leave;
  • because you were requesting or enforcing a legal right;
  • you were whistleblowing; and/or
  • you were taking action over a health and safety concern.

How can I claim for unfair dismissal?

If you have been dismissed without good reason, for example, your role has been terminated due to you taking maternity leave, you may be able to make an unfair dismissal claim. You can also claim if your employer failed to follow a formal disciplinary or dismissal process which resulted in your employment being terminated.

To be eligible to claim for unfair dismissal, you must have been employed by that employer for a consecutive period of two years (or transferred over in a TUPE transfer with continuous service).

What are the penalties for unfair dismissal?

If your employer is found to be guilty of unfairly dismissing you, they can be ordered to pay compensation, reinstate you, or redeploy you to another part of the business.

What are the time limits for making an unfair dismissal claim?

To claim for unfair dismissal, you are required to engage in ACAS Early Conciliation within three months of your effective date of termination. If you fail to go through the Early Conciliation process, you will be unable to bring your dismissal claim.

If the ACAS Early Conciliation process fails you have limited time; normally less than one month to issue an employment tribunal claim, so it important you act promptly. Our employment solicitors are here to help you to make a claim for unfair or constructive dismissal at an employment tribunal.

Can I claim for constructive dismissal?

If you’ve been forced to resign from your position because your employer has been in breach of their contract, or if you’ve left due to discrimination, victimisation, harassment or bullying in the workplace, you may be able to claim for constructive dismissal.

Examples of a constructive dismissal claim are when you’ve been forced to accept unreasonable changes to your shift pattern, or if you’ve been demoted without good reason. Alternatively, if your employer has treated you badly and you feel there has been a breakdown of trust and confidence in the employment relationship, then you may have a constructive dismissal claim.

If you believe that you have been forced to resign, or are thinking about resigning from your employment, you should contact a specialist employment solicitor as soon as possible.

What is wrongful dismissal?

A ‘wrongful dismissal’ is when an employer has breached an employee’s contract of employment. Examples of wrongful dismissal can include: dismissing an employee without giving them their entitled notice period or notice pay.

On the basis it is a breach of contract-type claim, you do not need two years’ service and can bring a claim from day one of your employment.

Contact our unfair dismissal solicitors in Bristol and South Gloucestershire

Our employment solicitors have extensive experience in representing employees at tribunals, appeal tribunals and the higher courts.

If you have had a dispute at work, believe you’re treated less favourably than your colleagues or you’ve been unfairly dismissed, speak to our employments lawyers in Bristol or South Gloucestershire by calling 0117 325 2929 or complete our online enquiry form.

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