Unfair Dismissal Advice for Employers
If one of your employees alleges that you dismissed them unfairly, getting the right advice promptly can help you defend their claim. There might also be simple steps you can take to leave yourself less open to such accusations in the future.
A dismissed employee has little left to lose and has time on their hands to make their claim against you. However, things won’t be so simple for you – defending the claim can be costly and time-consuming, even if you weren’t in the wrong. We can help you resolve the issue as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.
Our specialist Employment Law team offers advice in different languages on a wide range of legal matters, including unfair dismissal.
What exactly is Unfair Dismissal?
If an employee isn’t performing effectively in their role, there are processes to follow to help them correct their performance. If these processes don’t work, you may end up dismissing them based on their performance or capability. This can take time, but by following the right procedures, the dismissal can be done fairly.
However, in some instances an employee can allege that their dismissal was unfair. In the UK, employees need to have two years’ continuous service (minus one week) before they have the right to claim unfair dismissal.
If you dismiss an employee who has the right to claim unfair dismissal, it’s important that you’re able to prove that you dismissed them fairly. Unfair dismissal claims often arise when the employer has failed to follow correct procedures – such as disciplinary or capability procedures – or failed to document them correctly.
In some instances, dismissal can also be found to be ‘automatically unfair’, for which there is no meaningful defence, other than taking steps to avoid similar claims in the future.
What is Automatically Unfair Dismissal?
If the dismissal is found to breach the employee’s basic statutory rights, it is deemed to be ‘automatically unfair’ regardless of the procedures that were followed. The requirement for two years’ service does not apply to automatically unfair dismissals, so any employee can claim if they have grounds to do so.
Automatically unfair dismissal can arise if the employee is dismissed on the basis of:
- Discrimination under the Equality Act 2010
- Flexible working arrangements or requests
- Rights under the Working Time Regulations
- Seeking to assert a statutory right such as National Minimum Wage or safe working conditions
- Taking compassionate leave
If you’re considering making a dismissal, it’s crucial that you take account of the above factors, to ensure that you don’t leave yourself open to a claim for unfair or automatically unfair dismissal.
What other legal services might I need?
Our team offers a wide range of Business Law and Employment Law services. Unfair Dismissal is a serious issue requiring specific advice if you have received such an accusation. However, prevention is the best way to manage this risk through the preparation of Employment Contracts and Employment Procedures to ensure that you and your employees are clear about what is expected of them from the outset.
How do I get advice on Unfair Dismissal for my business?
Call us on 0208 1111 911 or contact us through the website and we’ll discuss your requirements with you. We’ll then recommend the Employment Law support we think you will need. The initial call is free and we’ll advise you of our fees before you decide to instruct us.