You can be unfairly dismissed in a number of ways, including by being made redundant or by being forced to resign which could be constructive dismissal. Unfair dismissal cannot be claimed by everyone as there are certain qualifying criteria that must be met.
To be able to claim unfair dismissal you must:
- Be an employee, as opposed to being an agency worker or being self employed
- Have 12 months’ continuous service, or 24 months’ continuous service if your employment started on or after 6th April 2012
- The claim must be entered within three months less one day from the date your employment terminated, and appealing the decision does not change that
Your employer should give you warning of any disciplinary action before taking any steps against you. The employer must act fairly and follow a fair procedure, normally including:
- Investigatory hearing
- Disciplinary hearing, with the right to representation from a colleague or GMB representative
- The right to appeal, with the right to representation from a colleague or GMB representative
- You are entitled to know the evidence against you in advance
- If you are suspended during the disciplinary process then it must be on full pay
You are entitled to your notice pay unless you have been dismissed for gross misconduct. You can be dismissed for a one off offence of gross misconduct, or for a ‘totting up’ of offences if you already have a live warning on your file.
The employer should follow its own written procedure on disciplinary matters. If it does not have a written procedure then it should follow the ACAS procedure.
If you believe that your employer has not followed a fair procedure in dismissing you, or that the decision to dismiss you was wholly unreasonable in the circumstances, then you may have a claim for unfair dismissal.
If you are at risk of redundancy your then employer must consult with you during the process and consider any suitable alternative roles. Notify your union representative who can assist you through the meetings and consultations. If you have been unfairly selected for redundancy, or you are made redundant and your job still exists, you may have a claim for unfair dismissal.
You need two years’ service to qualify for a redundancy payment.
If your employer breaks the relationship of trust and confidence or fundamentally breaks a term of your employment contract, you may be entitled to treat yourself as dismissed and resign. Simply being managed poorly or not getting along with your boss is not enough; there must be a fundamental breach by the employer. You have to resign in response to the breach and without too much delay. A resignation for any other reason will normally forfeit the right to notice payments.
Claims for constructive dismissal are often difficult to prove
If you have believe you have been unfairly dismissed contact our experienced team of specialised lawyers at Simpsons Solicitors who will be able to assist you further.