The employer has no right to allow unfair termination of employment. Termination of an employment contract with a citizen must occur only if there are legal grounds.
In UK labor legislation, this violation is called unfair termination from a job. Wrongful deprivation of a position means that the employer violated the normatively established procedure for terminating an employment contract with an individual.
It is important for employees and employers to understand the content of unfair dismissal at work in order to avoid potential problems. If an employer violates a citizen’s rights, he faces an expensive lawsuit. Next, we will talk about the grounds and consequences of unfair dismissal in the United Kingdom.
What is unfair dismissal?
There is a list of legal grounds on which the director of a company can terminate employment relations with staff. Among them:
- Lack of professional skills to perform assigned duties.
- Committing misconduct in the workplace, including inappropriate behavior, deception, absence from work, failure to comply with job descriptions.
- Staff reduction.
- The emergence of a legal obligation to dismiss. For example, an employer terminates an employment contract with a person who has not passed mandatory certification or licensing. A driver can be suspended if he is cited for exceeding the speed limit.
- Other valid reasons. This category includes exceptional cases. These include conflicts with the employer or non-renewal of a fixed-term contract concluded for the period of maternity leave.
According to British regulations, employers are prohibited from depriving a qualified experienced specialist of earnings without reasons reflected in the law of the country. When removing an employee from official duties, the head of the company must prove the existence of legal grounds. If the boss cannot indicate the reasons for terminating the employment contract, this is considered wrongful dismissal in the UK.
If the director of the company can prove a “good reason” for dismissal, this is not a final solution to the issue. An employee can seek protection of his rights by engaging unfair dismissal solicitors. The lawyer will explain the possibility of appealing to the employment tribunal for unfair dismissal. The court may conclude that it was not legitimate.
Let us indicate examples of unfair dismissal. An employee committed inappropriate behavior in the workplace. In this case, the employer must first issue a warning and discuss the violations committed with the employee. In many cases, the boss cannot immediately remove the specialist. This is an unwise decision. Judicial authorities may regard the removal of personnel without prior warning as unfair dismissal ground. When considering a case, the court takes into account the size and administrative resources of the head of the company, the nature and severity of the employee’s misconduct.
Automatic unfair dismissal
Automatically unfair reasons for dismissal are enshrined in state legislation. The rules establish the right of employees to challenge the employer’s decisions, taking into account their length of service in the company.
What British law means by automatically unfair dismissal is:
- Parents going on joint leave due to a child’s illness.
- Acquiring trade union membership.
- Leave due to pregnancy and childbirth – for women, paternity – for men.
- Reporting violations in the workplace.
- Taking leave due to the adoption of a child.
- Defending the rights to payment of the minimum wage.
- Protection of the rights to establish reasonable working hours and rest breaks.
- Problems with the health and safety of the specialist that the employer knew about.
State bodies do not recognize the presence of signs of automatically unfair work dismissal in relation to:
- Self-employed citizens.
- Military personnel.
- Independent contractors.
- Persons participating in unofficial strikes.
- Police officers.
- Persons working on a fishing vessel and receiving a share of its income.
Unfair dismissal redundancy during probation period
A violation such as probation period unfair dismissal occurs when a citizen has not yet been officially approved for a position. In order for the removal to proceed without problems, the employer should provide for the conditions for terminating the employment relationship with interns in the contract.
In case of unfair dismissal for less than 2 years, the employee can go to court to challenge the dismissal. In this case, the dismissal may automatically be recognized as illegitimate and in violation of civil rights.
Unfair dismissal claims
UK law guarantees individuals protection in the event of redundancy and unfair dismissal. Certified specialists should be involved to defend labor rights. Qualified unfair dismissal lawyers will help communicate with the employer and represent the client’s interests in the courts.
Employers also need a defender. The lawyer will explain to the company’s managers the legal procedure for dealing with workers, allowing them to avoid problems with regulatory authorities. For example, employers are required to:
- Familiarize staff with all aspects that relate to their job responsibilities.
- Provide employees with copies of documents.
- Record the employee’s actions when applying for protection in court.
- Keep copies of all communications you receive about the specialist.
- Implement disciplinary procedures before termination. It is necessary to investigate violations, hold a disciplinary hearing with the participation of a union representative, impose a penalty or issue a warning if the employee is at fault. It is important to give the employee the opportunity to complain about the decision made as a result of the investigation.
Compliance with this procedure will help to avoid unfair dismissal appeal and penalties for violation of current legislation.
How to claim for unfair dismissal?
The employee has three months to file a claim after his appeal is rejected. If a company loses an unfair dismissal claim, it could face a large fine (over £100,000).
An employee also has the right to file a claim for discrimination or a claim for breach of employment contract. In case of loss, the employer compensates for losses under the contract.
Unfair dismissal compensation for employees
According to the employment rights act unfair dismissal, the court may oblige the company to pay monetary compensation to the former employee. The amount of compensation depends on the reason for the suspension, the violations committed and the specifics of the employment contract with the individual.
The maximum award for unfair dismissal plus the base award is over £100,000. It corresponds to the annual salary of a specialist.
The Unfair dismissal act establishes the presence of a base reward. To calculate it, indicators such as continuous experience, the age of the specialist, and the weekly salary rate are used. Weekly earnings are typically around £640 excluding overtime.
The judicial authorities independently regulate the amount of compensation, taking into account the conduct of the dispute and the grounds for removing a person from official duties. In the event of a planned staff reduction, unfair dismissal payout is reduced.
Affected employees also receive a compensation award. The bonus is designed to cover losses incurred by a citizen when deprived of work. The court decides the issue of fairness and equity in awarding such payment. It usually involves compensation for the following losses:
- Current and future wages.
- Negotiated benefits, including corporate transport, health insurance.
- Violation of rights to benefits during layoffs. Begins to operate subject to the dismissal of an employee with at least 2 years of experience.
In 2023, UK legislation set the cap on compensation payments at £105,707.
Other types of dismissal
Constructive dismissal – when the employer puts pressure or performs manipulations that force the employee to leave the company on his own. This happens under the influence of stress, high load.
Wrongful dismissal – violation of the employment contract by the boss. For example, giving an employee an incorrect order.
Wrongful dismissal and unfair dismissal are similar in that the terms imply a violation of the employment contract. In case of unfair dismissal, the employer himself violates the contract. In case of wrongful dismissal, the contract is violated by the employee through the fault of the employer. With constructive dismissal, legally the boss is not the initiator of dismissal, but he has a hidden influence on the specialist.
How can we help?
How to prove unfair dismissal? It is important to find experienced unfair dismissal solicitors. The Sterling Law team will provide competent advice on unfair dismissal and will ensure the protection of the client’s interests. Lawyers work with citizens, startups and companies of all sizes.
Visit our London office or get in touch via the form on the website.