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Unfair Dismissal claim

Unfair dismissal occurs where an employee of the prerequisite level of service (normally 2 years, although there are exceptions to this) has been dismissed by their employer and that employer cannot demonstrate that the reason or principal reason for dismissal was a potentially fair one. Examples of potentially fair dismissal can include issues involving:

  • capability
  • conduct
  • redundancy
  • breach of statute/illegality or some other substantial reason
  • or that they followed a fair procedure before dismissing the employee

Notice & Payment in Lieu of Notice
If you have worked for your employer for more than one month but less than two years, you will be entitled to at least one week’s notice if they want to end your employment. After two years, you are entitled to one week’s notice for every complete year of service, up to 12 weeks, although often your contract may allow for more. Employers may choose to pay you in lieu instead of notice, which means that you will still get paid but may not be required to work. 

Unless you are dismissed for Gross Misconduct, you will still be entitled to receive notice or payment in lieu of notice.

Whilst your former employer does not have to supply a reference to a new employer, if they do so then they have a duty to ensure that its contents are fair, true and accurate. If you feel that an unfair or inaccurate reference has been supplied, then you may have a course of action against the person or company who provided it.

Tribunal Awards
Tribunal Awards are split into two types of award:

  • the Basic Award, or
  • the Compensatory Award

The Basic Award is calculated in the same way as Redundancy Pay. There is no specific calculation for the Compensatory Award but it is generally to put the employee back in the position they would have been in had they not been mistreated by their employer. There is a statutory cap that applies to Unfair Dismissal claims.

Tribunal Fees
Tribunal Fees were introduced by the Government in July 2013. How much you have to pay will depend upon the type of claim that you are bringing. There is a fee to start your claim and a fee if you want the matter to proceed to the Tribunal. Some people are eligible to pay a reduced fee, or no fee at all if they satisfy a means test.

Disciplinary procedure
If your employer does not follow a fair disciplinary procedure, then it is likely that you will win your claim for Unfair Dismissal. Disciplinary procedures are covered in more detail in our dedicated section which can be found here.

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