Unfair dismissal is one of the most common Employment Tribunal claims. If you lose your job or are sacked in circumstances through no fault of your own then you may be entitled to make an unfair dismissal claim and recover compensation for your sacking.
Unfair dismissal is where an employer has dismissed or sacked you for an unfair reason, where you have lost your job without your employer following a fair procedure, or in some cases a dismissal may automatically be unfair.
We also offer a low fixed-fee service for claims assessment. For a fee which amounts to less than an hours work for most High Street solicitors we’ll review your case and advise you on whether you have a claim. If we subsequently win the case we’ll deduct the Pre-Claim Review fee from our success fee, so you won’t be out of pocket.
We can even help you if you’ve already started your claim in the Employment Tribunal. For a fixed fee we’ll review your claim and give you advice on drafting, tactics and procedure. And on top of that we’ll give you three months of support as your claim goes on, to maximise your chance of succeeding.
You won’t find any other employment solicitor who offers something of equivalent value for less (and if you think you have found an equivalent alternative product, talk to us as we’d love to know and we’re keen to remain the most competitive claimant employment law practice in the market).
If you think you have an unfair dismissal claim, our expert employment law unfair dismissal solicitors can help you and give you the advice you need. Read on for more information about unfair dismissal claims.
Do I qualify to claim unfair dismissal?
Generally speaking if you were appointed to your job on or before 5 April 2012 you must have been continuously employed for at least one year or more to enjoy the statutory right not to be unfairly dismissed. If you were appointed on or after 6 April 2012 the requirement is of continuous employment for two years. However, if you are able to bring yourself into certain categories of automatically unfair dismissal, this requirement does not apply. We can advice you on your specific situation.
You must also be an actual employee working under a contract of employment rather than being a non-employee worker.
There are also some special categories of employees that are automatically excluded including those employees that may be working under an illegal contract, who are employed within the Police Service, Armed Forces or as share fishermen and those who are treated as not being employed in Great Britain.
Employment legislation does allow an employer to dismiss an employee fairly but it must be able to prove that its reason for dismissing you was a fair reason and that it has acted reasonably and fairly in all of the circumstances in deciding to dismiss you for that reason.
The five potentially fair reasons for dismissal are:
• Contravention of a duty or restriction;
• Some other substantial reason.
What Is The Real Reason For Your Dismissal?
Even though your employer has told you of the reason why it has dismissed you or wishes to dismiss you, this may not be the real reason at all. In today’s modern workplace there are a lot of pressures on employers and quite often hasty and bad decisions can result in dismissals which are simply unfair.
It is for the Employment Tribunal to decide the real reason for a dismissal and an employee is entitled to dispute the reason given for dismissal as well as to challenge the procedure that was used to carry out the dismissal.
Automatic Unfair Dismissal
The law protects employees in a number of different ways and it will automatically be unfair for your employer to dismiss you for certain reasons.
If you have been dismissed for one of these protected reasons (which are also known as “inadmissible reasons”) then you may have been automatically unfairly dismissed.
In this situation it does not matter how long you have been employed as there is no minimum qualifying period. There are at least 25 categories of reasons which can result in an automatic unfair dismissal. These include dismissals relating to Health & Safety reasons, whistleblowing disclosures, pregnancy and maternity, disputes over pay and holiday entitlements, or even because of a reason connected to a spent conviction.
Incidentally, these categories of dismissals which will be automatically unfair are one of the major reasons why you will benefit from having an expert employment law solicitor. We have experience of spotting the cases where there is automatic unfairness in the dismissal from your job.
Making a Claim for Unfair Dismissal
You must start your unfair dismissal claim before the Employment Tribunal within three months (this means 3 months less 1 day) from the date when your employment ends. Calculating this date can sometimes be tricky and you are advised to seek early specialist advice to ensure that you do not miss the time limit or you will be barred from making your claim.
How Much Will I Recover?
It is important from the outset to understand just how much your claim for unfair dismissal may be worth. The factors that are taken into account when calculating the amount to be awarded can sometimes be a complex exercise. Factors such as your age, length of service, amount of your earnings, how long it takes you to find a new job and the underlying circumstances surrounding your actual dismissal all have to be considered when assessing the amount of compensation that can be recovered. Taking early specialist advice will enable us to provide you with an indication of the likely value of your claim for unfair dismissal.
Will I Have to Attend an Employment Tribunal Unfair Dismissal Hearing?
If your case is professionally prepared and valued from the outset then there is a strong possibility that your employer will wish to settle your claim to avoid the costs of a contested Tribunal hearing. A lot of claims for unfair dismissal are settled through ACAS (the Government’s free conciliatory advice body) which assists parties in each case to reach a conciliated outcome if at all possible.
However, there are always cases that will not settle for different reasons and this may mean that you will have to be a witness in support of your own case at a final hearing.
You can be assured that, whether your case proceeds all the way to a final Tribunal hearing or settles at an early stage, we will endeavour to ensure that you achieve the most advantageous outcome and the best unfair dismissal settlement or Employment Tribunal award possible.