Unfair dismissal claims are the most common types of claims brought in Employment Tribunals (ET).
If you have been dismissed and your employer has not followed a fair procedure (this applies to redundancy dismissals), including not undertaken a proper investigation and/or given any consideration for alternative to dismissal, you may have a claim for unfair dismissal.
What are the qualifying criteria for bringing an unfair dismissal claim?
To proceed with a claim for unfair dismissal, you must:
- Be an employee and not an independent contractor or self-employed and
- Have been employed for the minimum qualifying period of service (though this requirement is subject to exceptions):
- If your employment began before 6 April 2012, you will need to have one years’ service.
- If your employment began after 6 April 2012, you will need to have two years’ service.
What makes a dismissal unfair?
Under the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA) an employer can (and do) argue that they had a potentially fair reason for dismissal, i.e. for a specified reason such as misconduct or inability to perform the role.
Whether the ET considers a dismissal to be fair or unfair will depend on whether they believe an employer has been reasonable in all the circumstances. Where an employer has failed to conduct a proper investigation or failed to allow the employee an opportunity to put their version of events forward then the dismissal will be seen to be unfair.
The time limit for bringing a claim for unfair dismissal in the ET is three months less one day from the date of the dismissal.
Employees who are successful in their claim for unfair dismissal can request reinstatement (returning to their old job) or compensation, though they will have to make every attempt to find alternative employment.
If you think you might have been unfairly dismissed and meet the above criteria, please contact us on 0113 350 4030 or complete the contact form for a free telephone consultation. Alternatively, why not drop into one of our free clinics on Wednesday’s from 5:30pm until 7:30pm at our offices.