Kay Stewart discusses unfair dismissal

Being let go from your work is often not a nice process however there is a fine line between being fairly and unfairly dismissed. There are some situations whereby a dismissal is automatically classed as being unfair. According to the ACAS website, automatic unfair dismissal is whereby the main reason for the dismissal is that the employee:

  • makes a flexible working request
  • is pregnant or on maternity leave
  • wants to take family leave, for example parental, paternity or adoption leave
  • is a trade union member or representative
  • is taking part in legal, official industrial action for 12 weeks or less, for example going on strike
  • asks for a legal right, for example to be paid the National Minimum Wage
  • is doing jury service
  • is involved in whistleblowing
  • is forced to retire (known as ‘compulsory retirement’)
  • is taking action, or proposing to take action, over a health and safety issue

The first step for an employee when they consider their dismissal to be unfair is to challenge the decision following their employer’s internal process. If this is unsuccessful the employee should then inform ACAS of their intention to make a claim. A claim should be made within 3 months (less 1 day) of the dismissal. If the employee is claiming under automatic unfair dismissal, the length of employment is not regarded, however if the claim is for another form of unfair dismissal then the employee must have worked for the employer for a minimum of two years.

A note for employers is that it is vital that the correct procedures are followed when dismissing staff. Employers should ensure they provide the appropriate notice period and notice pay to their employee when dismissing them. Following the correct processes usually saves time and money in the long term.

For further information on this topic or on any other legal area, please contact John Szepietowski or Kay Stewart at Audley Chaucer Solicitors on 01372 303444 or email admin@audleychaucer.com or visit our Linkedin page.

Larissa Bourgi

This information was correct as at April 2022

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