What Is Unfair Dismissal; And What Are My Rights

What Is Unfair Dismissal – You have the right not to be unfairly dismissed if you meet the eligibility requirements. As a result, in order for your dismissal to be considered fair, your employer must be able to justify their decision.

The question of what constitutes fairness can be challenging. The Work Court will find multiple ways to determine the matter. Albeit only one out of every odd case will go before a council.

What Is Unfair Dismissal

Here are the steps you will want to consider:

Step one: What was the explanation (or the principal purpose for) your dismissal?

When defending against an unfair dismissal claim, your employer must provide their main reason for your dismissal.

If certain conditions are met, your employer is also required by law to provide you with a written explanation of why you were fired.

These are the conditions:

  • You must have been employed continuously for at least two years (similar to the eligibility requirement for the right not to be unfairly dismissed);
  • You must request this statement from your employer;
  • Your employer must provide a written statement within fourteen days of your request and must explain why they fired you. They are required to specify the primary reason if they provide multiple reasons.

Assuming your manager gives bogus or erroneous reasons, the Business Council is allowed to decide the genuine explanations behind your dismissal and judge whether it was fair in view of those.


Step Two: Is the explanation necessarily unfair?

There are various explanations behind a dismissal which your boss will not be able to legitimize. This means that your dismissal will be unjust if one of these reasons is the reason. The following are automatically unfair reasons for dismissal:

  • Discrimination: This could be based on age, race, disability, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity, or religion or belief.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth: It may be unfair if you are fired while you are pregnant or for reasons related to childbirth. It could also be discrimination.
  • Assertion of specific statutory employment rights—The Employment Rights Act of 1996 provides a comprehensive list of statutory rights. The rights to the following are some examples:

–        Return to work after pregnancy

–        Redundancy installments

–        Written specifics of business

–        Suspension from work on clinical grounds

–        Reclaim unapproved derivations from compensation


  • Around an exchange of undertaking – an exchange of undertaking is where a business is moved starting with one manager then onto the next.
  • Public speaking.
  • Activities and membership in a union.
  • Cooperation in specific sorts of strike activity.

If the explanation is naturally uncalled for, there is compelling reason to go through the remaining steps to determine fairness.

READ: Can I Be Sacked For Causing An Accident At Work?

Step three: Is there a possible justification?

It will be up to your employer to demonstrate that it was fair, provided that their explanation is not automatically unfair. There are several categories of reason that are potentially fair from a legal standpoint. Your employer will need to specify which of these categories applies to their reason. These are the groups:

  • Competencies and conduct
  • Redundancy, that is, if your position is no longer needed.
  • Illegality – if continuing in your position would violate a legal provision, either on your part or on your employer’s part
  • Some other substantial reason: An employer can use this “catch-all” category if they believe they had a valid reason to fire you that does not fit into any of the other categories.


Step four: Is the justification legitimate in light of the circumstances?

Your dismissal was not fair, even if your employer’s explanation falls into one of the potentially fair categories.

In deciding if your dismissal was fair or unjustifiable, the Business Council will consider:

  • Whether your employer treated the reason as sufficient to dismiss you in a reasonable manner. This will include taking into account the circumstances of your employer such as their organization’s size and resources.
  • Assess the case’s substantial merits and make decisions in accordance with fairness laws.

The Employment Tribunal will answer this question by asking what a variety of reasonable employers would have done. Your dismissal will not be unfair if your employer’s actions are deemed to be within that range of reasonable responses.


Dismissal procedures and unfairness

Even if your employer did not follow the proper procedure when firing you, this does not necessarily mean that the firing was unfair. However, your employer must demonstrate that they would have dismissed you even if they had followed the correct procedure, and that their explanation is reasonable.


Complaining to a Tribunal

If you believe you have been fired unfairly, you can go to a tribunal. There are three options if your claim is successful:

  • Being re-instated in your work
  • Being designated to one more job inside a similar organization
  • Compensation


Compensation for Unfair Dismissal

There will be two components to your compensation for unfair dismissal: a compensatory award and the basic award

Age, salary, and length of service to the company determine the basic award. It is the same as what you would be entitled to if you were laid off.

The earnings you have lost between the dismissal and your hearing are taken into account when calculating the compensatory award. It also takes into account any costs associated with moving for a new job, as well as any benefits, overtime, pension, and statutory rights that you would have had otherwise.

The maximum compensatory award is usually £66,200. Income tax and National Insurance deductions apply to all compensation.

READ: Occupational Insurance VS. Workers Comp: What’s the Difference?

What You Need to Do

During this process, you must demonstrate that you are attempting to minimize your losses from the dismissal. This incorporates applying for any possible new jobs. The tribunal may significantly reduce your award if it determines that you did not comply with the requirements.

Additionally, it is critical to act quickly. Within three months of your last day of employment, you must file a claim.


Possible Claims

Even if you do not think you can sue for unfair dismissal, that does not mean you cannot sue for other things. Alternately, you might have a claim of discrimination, unfair dismissal, or another specific reason that could lead to an automatic dismissal.

By statute and common law, you still have the right to be paid by your employer if you are fired within the first two years of employment. You are qualified for your typical compensation and advantages up to the date of termination.


Do You Need the Help of a Lawyer to File Your Claim?

Although it is possible for employees to represent themselves at an employment tribunal, qualified solicitors who can guide you through the process, inform you of any legal loopholes, and ensure that your interests are fully protected are strongly recommended.


Who can claim wrongful dismissal?

Only certain eligible employees who have been fired can file an unfair dismissal claim. A person’s eligibility to file an unfair dismissal claim will be assessed based on the following factors:


Worker status

Laborers and independently employed people cannot guarantee for unreasonable dismissal. Unfair dismissal can only be claimed by employees who meet the criteria for employee status. Individuals who are employed in accordance with a written or oral employment contract are referred to as employees. This includes employees with fixed terms and part-time jobs.

The facts and terms of the working relationship may suggest that a person qualifies as an employee, giving them greater legal protections and rights such as the ability to file an unfair dismissal claim, despite the fact that an employer may classify them as a worker. When determining your employment status and your legal options as an employer, it is always best to seek legal advice.


Exclusions from the right to sue for unfair dismissal

The following people do not have the right to sue for unfair dismissal before a tribunal:

  • Employees who have attained a settlement with their employer via agreement of settlement or compromise agreement
  • Employees who are employed under an illegal contract, such as underage employees
  • Employees who are protected by a dismissal procedure agreement which has been legally exempted from the unfair dismissal rules
  • Police officers (unless the dismissal relates to health and safety or whistleblowing)

The worker’s freedoms under a fixed-term agreement will be resolved generally by the provisions of the actual agreement.

Normally, a fixed-term contract implies the work closes on a specific date or on finishing of a specific venture or piece of work. The terms of the contract regarding early termination should be reviewed by the employer if they wish to terminate the agreement earlier. If the contract allows for termination prior to the anticipated date, the employer can do so as long as they do so fairly and in accordance with any associated responsibilities such as providing sufficient notice. Unless the contract specifies otherwise, early termination typically requires a notice period of two weeks.