Losing your job can be difficult and emotional, often with consequences for you and your family. Employers can only dismiss an employee (where a work contract is ended by the employer, rather than the employee) if they have a fair reason to do so.
There are five main reasons for dismissal:
- Conduct – if you have broken the terms of your employment, for example continually missing work, poor discipline or theft from your employer
- Capability – if you cannot do your job properly, for example you can’t keep up with changes to technology or you don’t work well with members of your team
- Redundancy – when there is not enough work for you to do at the company
- Continuing to employ you would break the law – for example if you are a driver and you lose your driving licence or you don’t have the right to work in the UK
- Some other substantial reason (SORS) – this applies if your employer has an overwhelming reason to dismiss you, such as imprisonment or if it isn’t possible to employ you due to financial, technical or organisational reasons
Unfair dismissal is when an employer does not have a fair reason to end your contract. It can also be claimed if your employer did have a fair reason, but your dismissal was not managed according to correct procedures, such as company policies and ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) guidance.
Generally, you need to have been in the same job for two years (from 6 April 2012) to claim unfair dismissal. Although some dismissals do not require a qualifying period, such as whistleblowing or discrimination cases. Also, if you are treated badly by your employer, you may be able to resign and claim constructive dismissal – but you must get legal advice before doing so.
If you are concerned you might have been unfairly dismissed, or have grounds for constructive dismissal, please get in touch with us to discuss your options. Our expert team is here to help you decide the best course of action and support you every step of the way.