Katharine Kelly provides an overview of the key aspects of unfair dismissal claims.
Every employee has the legal right not to be unfairly dismissed and employers must ensure that they consider this to ensure that they are not subjected to claims for unfair dismissal. Although in many cases employees must have two years’ continuous employment in order to secure protection from unfair dismissal, there are numerous exceptions to the time limit and many scenarios in which protection is available from day one.
A dismissal could be unfair if you do not have a fair reason for dismissing the employee. There are six potentially fair reasons for dismissal: capability, conduct, redundancy, where continued employment would break the law, retirement or some other substantial reason. Secondly, you must also follow a procedure for dismissal and this should be in accordance with the ACAS Code of Practice. You must also ensure that the reason is not an automatically unfair one, for example, dismissal on the grounds of age, sex or disability. Finally you must ensure that your actions are within the range of reasonable responses having regard to that particular situation.
If successful an employment tribunal can award an employee with re-instatement, re-engagement but most likely with compensation. Failure to ensure that any dismissal is fair is therefore likely to be extremely costly for your business.
We can assist you in protecting your business against claims for unfair dismissal by drafting a clear, fair and reasonable procedure to be followed in all dismissal cases. We can also give you step by step guidance in every dismissal case to ensure that you stay within the law and act fairly throughout. Call us on 08000 832 832 for advice and assistance for the development of a long term solution.
Read more about unfair dismissal law here.