If you have been dismissed from your job and your employer has not acted fairly, we can advise you on your options including helping to make a claim to the Employment Tribunal.
What are my rights if I have been dismissed?
Your employer should follow their disciplinary procedures and tell you why they are dismissing you.
If you have worked there for two years or if you are pregnant, you have the right to a written explanation of the reasons.
Can I make a claim against my former employer?
There are a number of factors that affect whether you can make a successful claim, including:
- The length of your employment. Sometimes a claim can only be made if you have worked for your employer for at least two years.
- The reason for dismissal must be unfair. There are legal definitions of reasons which are “automatically unfair” (see below) but other reasons may also be unfair. It is not uncommon for employers to tell you one reason for dismissing you when in fact the true reason would be deemed unfair.
We have answered some of the common questions below but there are strict time limits so it is essential to take legal advice as early as possible.
A claim for unfair dismissal would need to be received by the Employment Tribunal within three months less a day from the date your employment ended. Extra time will be allowed if you engage in the ACAS Early Conciliation process. Given the time limits you need to decide whether to make a claim for unfair dismissal fairly quickly.
We can provide you with specialist advice to establish whether you are able to make a claim and then to take the claim forward.
What reasons are “automatically unfair”?
Some reasons for dismissal are ‘automatically unfair’ regardless of your length of service. These include dismissal connected to:
- Pregnancy or maternity leave
- Family matters such as parental leave, paternity leave, time off for dependants or adoption leave
- You asking your employer to pay the minimum or living wage
- You refusing to give up your legal rights to breaks and holidays (granted under the Working Time Regulations)
- You reporting your employer for wrongdoing (known as whistleblowing)
- Trade Union activities including joining a Trade Union or taking part in industrial action
If the reason for dismissing is because of any of these issues, you may be able to make a successful claim.
My employer has discriminated against me. Can I make a claim?
Employers cannot discriminate against you due to your:
- Pregnancy or maternity leave
- Race, ethnicity or nationality
- Marriage or civil partnership
- Gender identity
- Religion or set of beliefs
If the reason for dismissing you relates to any of these characteristics, you may be able to make a successful claim.
My employer’s business has been taken over by another company and I have been dismissed. Can I make a claim?
If you have been employed for at least two years at the date of the transfer, the takeover or merger cannot be the reason for your dismissal and, if it is, it is “automatically unfair”