Unfair & constructive dismissal claims
If you’re considering whether to make a claim for unfair or constructive dismissal to an employment tribunal our employment law specialists can help review your case and guide you through the process.
Unfair and constructive dismissal compensation advice
Being dismissed from your job, whatever the circumstances can often feels unfair however it can also be technically unfair. While employers are allowed to dismiss people from their role, they have to do it in a fair manner and have regard to the rules which apply to decisions which have such a big effect on their employers. If they have done it unfairly, then you have the ability to challenge their decision.
If you are dismissed, you must be given a valid reason and your employer must have acted reasonably in the circumstances. If you believe that this is not the case, you may be able to take legal action following your dismissal. There are a number of legal test used by an employment tribunal in relation to unfair dismissal actions, including consider your employment status, how long you have been working for your employer, the circumstances of your dismissal, the length of time that has passed since your dismissal and whether or not your employer followed the Acas code.
One important point to note is that you must move quickly if you believe you have been unfairly dismissed as you only have three months, less a day, from your last day of employment to start taking action.
Our award-winning team of specialist employment lawyers advise on every aspect of employment law.
Common questions about unfair dismissals
Your dismissal could be unfair if your employer does not:
- have a good reason for dismissing you
- follow the company’s formal disciplinary or dismissal process
Situations when your dismissal is likely to be unfair include if you:
- asked for flexible working refused to give up your working time rights – for example, to take rest breaks resigned and gave the correct notice period
- joined a trade union
- took part in legal industrial action that lasted 12 weeks or less
- needed time off for jury service
- applied for maternity, paternity and adoption leave
- were on any maternity, paternity and adoption leave you’re entitled to
- tried to enforce your right to receive Working Tax Credits
- exposed wrongdoing in the workplace (whistleblowing)
- were forced to retire (known as ‘compulsory retirement’)
Constructive dismissal is when you’re forced to leave your job against your will because of your employer’s conduct.
The reasons you leave your job must be serious, for example, they:
- do not pay you or suddenly
- demote you for no reason
- force you to accept unreasonable changes to how you work – for example, tell you to work night shifts when your contract is only for day work
- let other employees harass or bully you
Your employer’s breach of contract may be one serious incident or a series of incidents that are serious when taken together.
To qualify for the right to claim unfair dismissal at an employment tribunal, you must have worked for your employer for a minimum period.
If you started your job on or after April 6 2012, that period is normally two years, while before that it is usually one year.
Our specialists can advice you if you have grounds for an unfair or constructive dismissal claim and represent you at an employment tribunal if the situation allows.
It is important to note that unfair dismissal claims must be made to a tribunal within three months of you being dismissed.
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