Unfair dismissal

As from 6th April 2012, an employee must have 2 years continuous employment with the same employer to qualify for the right not to be unfairly dismissed; before the 6th April 2012 the period required to claim unfair dismissal was 1 year's continuous employment with the same employer.

In order to dismiss fairly, an employer must:

  • have a fair reason for dismissal; and
  • the dismissal must follow proper procedures.

Potentially fair reasons for dismissal are:

  • capability;
  • conduct;
  • redundancy;

some other substantial reason.
Once it is established that the dismissal falls within one of the potentially fair reasons, it is necessary to consider the fairness of the dismissal. This will involve an assessment of : 

  • for misconduct dismissals, whether a reasonable investigation was conducted;
  • for poor performance dismissals, whether the employee was warned as to their performance and given an opportunity to improve; and
  • for redundancies, whether the employee was consulted, whether there was a fair selection process and whether alternative employment was considered.

If you have been unfairly dismissed, then you will be entitled to a basic award, based on age and length of service and a compensatory award based on your losses up to a maximum of 72,300. A Tribunal will award the compensatory award on a just and equitable basis.