What Constitutes Unfair dismissal?
Unfair dismissal cases are common but can be difficult to prove, as the exact circumstances surrounding a worker’s departure can be a bit murky. The law recognizes that there are certain legitimate grounds for dismissal but also supports workers by stating that there are limitations on employer’s powers to hire and fire at will. If you’ve worked for an employer for a year or more then you have a certain degree of protection and can only be dismissed with good reason.
The big ones are misconduct, redundancy, capability and sickness. If you break the rules, commit an offence and generally cause trouble you’ll end up with a final warning. As long as the company has been clear in its sanctions and has given you fair notice then there’s not a lot you can do. In the same way if the company goes bust or has to restructure then some jobs may be lost. If the company co-operates with your Trade Union and offers a decent redundancy package then there’s also little that can be done. If you’re not doing your job properly or don’t have qualifications then you might also be let go. Finally if you’re always pulling sickies you could find yourself back at the local job centre. Generally, none of the above are deemed unfair dismissal but always make sure you keep thorough records regardless.
There are also certain special circumstances that could result in you getting your marching orders but your employer will have to come up with a good story to justify it. If you’re binned for any other reason, then your dismissal is automatically unfair. You have a right to be told why you’ve been dismissed in writing and if you think it’s unfair then you should appeal to your trade union and an employment tribunal. If you think you’re about to get the chop for no good reason then try and build up some evidence of this. Write down day-to-day instances of your employer being unreasonable and if you’re dismissed then use this to back up your story. Like a personal injury case any additional corroboration will help you win your case.
The important thing to remember with unfair dismissal is you only have three months to make your complaint so get cracking if you’re convinced you were made to walk the proverbial plank without good reason.