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Employees: Unfair Dismissal

Fair reasons for dismissal

In order for your employer to dismiss you fairly, they need to demonstrate that they had a valid reason for doing so and that they acted reasonably in considering that reason as sufficiently serious to dismiss you.

There are a number of potentially fair reasons for dismissal that an employer can rely on when dismissing an employee, such as misconduct or capability. Your employer will also need to follow a fair procedure to dismiss you if it believes one of the fair reasons applies.  


Reasonable Procedure

Your employer must act reasonably in treating the reason for dismissing you as sufficient grounds for your dismissal. Your employment should comply with the guidance set out in the Acas Code to follow a fair procedure. 


Disciplinary and Capability proceedings

Dismissing fairly for the reasons of either disciplinary or capability will usually involve your employer having to undertake an investigation and arranging meetings with you to discuss its findings. There are usually a number of steps to these processes, and you should be allowed to arrange for a colleague or a union representative to attend these meetings to accompany you. 


How we can help

We understand that being notified that your employer is commencing a disciplinary or capability procedure is very worrying, particularly as your employer may warn you that these procedures may result in you being dismissed. It’s important to be proactive in those circumstances so that you have the best chance to address the issues that your employer is putting to you. We can support you through this process by helping you to prepare effective arguments for the hearings. Whilst we will usually not be able to attend the hearings with you, we can ensure that you are prepared as possible to put your best case forward.

If you have been dismissed by your employer, we can advise you about your options in relation to claiming compensation if the dismissal was unfair or in breach of contract.


Time Limit

You have three months less one day from the date that your employment ends to bring a claim for unfair dismissal or constructive dismissal in an Employment Tribunal. If you have lodged a grievance with your employer this will not extend this time limit, and so it is important to take prompt legal advice if you think you may have a claim.