Unfair dismissal

Top 6 things to know about unfair dismissal

1. Until April this year (2012) the qualifying period for making an unfair dismissal claim in the Employment Tribunal was 1 year. for employees who started their jobs after April 2012 it will be 2 years. If you have not worked for an employer for this period, you can’t claim unfair dismissal.

2. An employee can be dismissed for 1 act on the basis of gross misconduct. The act must be so severe as to go the heart of the contract, such as fighting, stealing or something that serious.

3. In all cases an employer must comply with fair process before dismissing and should give the employee a fair hearing and chance ti appeal, even where there has been gross misconduct. failure to do so can be unfair dismissal even where otherwise the dismissal would have been fair.

4. Dismissal can be fair where it is based on a  series of warnings given which then result, after a final warning , in dismissal. The employer will need to be able to demonstrate acting within a “range of reasonable responses” which is an objective test. the Employment tribunal are not allowed to substitute their view for that of the employer, only to ask, “was the dismissal within a range of reasonable responses”.. Moire information on Employment Tribunals here.

5. Constructive dismissal is a form of unfair dismissal – it is where the employee resigns on the basis that his or her position has become intolerable. The employee needs to show that the employer’;s conduct was a fundamental breach of contract, such as changing job, salary, place of work.

6. Only approximately 30% of cases for unfair dismissal which reach a final tribunal hearing result in success for the employee. Around 40% of all cases started are settled before a tribunal hearing.