Unfair Dismissal is a statutory employment claim that eligible employees can bring in an employment tribunal. Employers are not entitled to dismiss employees for no reason, but can only do so for one of the five, potentially fair reasons: misconduct, capability, redundancy, illegality and some other substantial reason.  Dismissal for any other reason will be unfair.

When an employer decides to dismiss an employee, even if they have a fair reason for doing so, they must still follow a fair procedure in carrying out that dismissal.  Failure to do so will render the dismissal unfair.

To be eligible to bring a claim of unfair dismissal against their employer, a claimant must:

  • be employed under a contract of employment (workers and the consultants cannot bring claims);
  • have at least two years’ service (with some limited exceptions such as on maternity, health and safety and whistle-blowing grounds);
  • have been dismissed (including resignation in a constructive dismissal situation); and
  • generally, be bringing a claim within 3 months of their dismissal.

See our article on automatic unfair dismissal, and ways around the two year rule here.

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Updates: For employers: Unfair and constructive dismissal | For employees: Unfair dismissal |

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