Unfair Dismissal Claims for Employers

Employees with two years’ service have the right not to be unfairly dismissed. Where an employee has two years, or more, continuous service, an employer must have a fair reason to dismiss.

The fair reasons to dismiss are:

  • Misconduct at work;
  • Lack of capacity (or qualifications) to do the job;
  • Redundancy;
  • A statutory requirement;
  • Some other substantial reason;

An employer must also follow a fair procedure in accordance with the ACAS Code of Conduct when dismissing an employee. In certain circumstances, the employer must also show that the decision to dismiss is within the range of reasonable responses available to an employer.

There are certain limited cases where a dismissal will be automatically unfair and the two year qualifying period will not apply. If that is the case, the employee only has to be able to demonstrate to a Tribunal that the dismissal was for one of the automatically unfair reasons to succeed in their claim. These include, for example, being dismissed for:

  • Membership (or non-membership) of a Trade Union or for Trade Union activities;
  • Pregnancy or any other reason connected with the pregnancy;
  • For making a protected disclosure.

Our experienced team can advise employers about the risks and ways to limit them in any situation where a dismissal is contemplated. Where a claim for unfair dismissal has been threatened or started we can also advise and help employers respond to those claims in a practical and cost efficient, proportionate way.

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