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Receiving a dismissal from a job can often come as a shock. However, despite employers having the right to dismiss their workers, if the process is carried out unfairly, it can often lead to legal challenges.

Whether you have been dismissed without a valid reason or your employer has failed to use a fair procedure, then you may be able to claim unfair dismissal.

What Is Unfair Dismissal?

Unfair dismissal is one of the most common reasons for employment tribunals and occurs when an employer terminates a contract of employment without a legitimate reason to do so.

The Employment Rights Act 1996 states that employees are entitled to a fair reason before being dismissed. If there has been a dismissal, an employer must show that the cause falls into one of the five categories in the act.

Unless the employer can prove one or more of the five reasons for dismissal, the termination will be deemed unfair.

What Are the Five Main Reasons for Dismissal?

The five categories for fair dismissal include:

  • The employee lacked the capability or qualification for the job they were employed for.
  • The dismissal was a result of the conduct of the employee. This can include dishonesty, poor attendance or showing a failure to follow instructions.
  • There was a genuine redundancy.
  • The continuation of employment would contravene a statute. For example, if the job role required you to drive when you had previously been banned.
  • Some other substantive reason (SOSR).

What Is the Difference Between Unfair and Constructive Dismissal?

While they can appear similar, there are some distinct differences between an unfair and constructive dismissal.

Unlike unfair dismissals, constructive dismissals occur when an employee is forced to resign in response to an employer’s conduct which has made the position unjustifiable. This is also known as a resignation.

How to Appeal a Dismissal

If an employee believes their dismissal was unfair and would like to challenge the employer, they can appeal the decision through their employer’s appeal process. Employees can also discuss the issue with their union representative if the employer is a member of a trade union.

If the issue cannot be resolved internally, employees can apply for an employment tribunal. In this case, the employment tribunal will listen to both the claimant and respondent before making a decision.

There is usually a time limit of three months to report the issue. However, this deadline occurs from the date the employment ended. It is also important to note that before any claims are made, the claimant must contact ACAS.

Understand Unfair Dismissal with Eatons

For employees, understanding employment law can be confusing and daunting. However, here at Eatons, we provide easy-to-understand advice and assistance on your employment rights in the workplace.

Our team of employment law experts are available to help you keep on top of the ever-changing legal landscape, including unfair dismissals.

So if you would like further information, please contact us today or book your free 30 minute consultation with us from our offices in Bradford, Yeadon and Bingley.