Making a Claim for Unfair Dismissal
Posted on 8th January 2021 at 16:47
If you have been working for your employer for the qualifying period of two years and feel that you have been dismissed unfairly, you have the statutory right to take your case to an employment tribunal. Most businesses will have procedures in place for dealing with all issues relating to employees, particularly large companies that have formal HR structures.
That doesn’t mean you can’t be a victim of unfair dismissal. Your employer is expected to follow certain reasonable procedures – this might include giving you a verbal warning or attempting to resolve a situation before they dismiss you. These are usually outlined in employee handbooks or contracts.
Small and medium size businesses may well have less formal HR structures in place either because of their size or the limitation of budgets but that doesn’t release them for an obligation to treat you fairly.
Do You Have a Claim?
The initial step is to decide whether you have been a victim of unfair dismissal in the first place. This could have occurred because the proper procedures had not been followed according to your contract of employment or employee handbook.
The procedure might also have been applied in a discriminative way. For example, you may have been sacked but another employee who was guilty of the same behaviour was not. There is another form of unfair dismissal, constructive dismissal, where the employer makes things so difficult through harassment or bullying that the employee has no other recourse but to resign.
Who Handles a Claim for Unfair Dismissal?
Many businesses have internal procedures to handle complaints concerning unfair dismissal and you need to go through these first. If you do not get the answer you are looking for and still feel that you have a case, you then have the right to go to an employment tribunal to seek reparation.
You need to take the right advice in this case. It can come from sources such as the Citizen’s Advice Bureau or your local union rep, but most people tend to approach an employment solicitor that specialises in unfair dismissal.
You need to claim for unfair dismissal within three months from your effective date of termination and the rules are quite strict in this respect. The employer will the need to show the tribunal that you were dismissed fairly and their argument might include:
That you were not capable of doing the job, either because of a lack of skills or the right qualifications.
You were guilty of misconduct such as fighting in the office, stealing or taking unauthorised absences.
Your qualifications or ability to do the job might have changed such as losing your driving licence.
There are instances where a tribunal will automatically deliver a decision of unfair dismissal, for instance, when someone is let go when they have taken maternity leave, needed time to care for dependents or because the businesses didn’t want to implement changes to enable disabled access for an employee.
How Do I Make a Claim?
If you feel that you have a good claim for unfair dismissal, then it is important to have that conversation with an experienced legal advisor. At DSM Legal Solicitors, we will be able to look at your claim and give you the comprehensive advice you need. You can then decide whether you want to take matters further. Simply call 01925 937070 for more information.
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