Unfair dismissal

What is unfair dismissal?

If employment is terminated by the employer without just cause, this is called an unfair dismissal. Usually when a dismissal is for a reason that the employer is able to justify, a dismissal is not unfair.


A dismissal may be considered unfair in different situations including:


  • when dismissed without their consent
  • dismissed without a fair process
  • dismissed for exercising their legal rights
  • dismissed for certain reasons related to their health, safety, or skills


The dismissal would usually be unfair if you are dismissed because of


  • whistleblowing (reporting the employer for wrongdoing)
  • raising concerns/taking actions about health and safety at work
  • asking for your legal rights at work
  • being pregnant/on maternity leave
  • taking part in trade union activities (such as industrial action)



What can an employee do if they were unfairly dismissed?

The employee would usually be entitled to claim for the unfair dismissal. If employee and employer are unable to reach an agreement, the employee may take the case to the Employment Tribunal.

In most cases an employee cannot claim for an unfair dismissal if they have worked in the company for less than 2 years. However, if you have reasons to believe that you were discriminated against (examples would include  sex, ethnicity, disability etc), you may still be able entitled for a compensation.

You need to start taking action for an unfair dismissal within 3 months of being dismissed.


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