Our specialist employment solicitors provide qualified advice on all matters that are related to employment disputes in the United Kingdom including unfair dismissal. No win no fee compensation claims are totally risk free and if you do not win your case, you do not pay any legal fees or expenses whatsoever. If you need free advice on unfair dismissal compensation claims with no further obligation just call the helpline or complete the contact form oe email our offices.

Statutory Definition

There is no statutory definition of the term unfair dismissal. Solicitors will usually interpret it as meaning termination of employment, carried out for no good reason or termination of employment without going through an agreed company procedure. The employees contract of employment and relevant legislation will usually protect an employee from being dismissed without good reason and allow recourse to the Employment Tribunal for unfair dismissal compensation claims or re-instatement. In addition there are other laws that may be relevant to the termination of employment including the Race Relations Act, the Disability Discrimination Act (1995) and the Sex Discrimination Act. All of the legislation should therefore be considered in detail prior to any application to the Employment Tribunal, the Employment Appeals Tribunal or the Court of Appeal for unfair dismissal compensation.

Lawful Termination

Employment can be terminated legally and without penalty to the employer for any number of reasons the most common of which are outlined below :-

  • Unacceptable conduct - this covers a very wide range of generally illegal/unlawful and/or anti-social behaviour and may include theft, corruption, drunkenness, abuse, absences, lateness and unsuitable or scruffy appearance.

  • Capability - if an employee is unable to perform their job to a satisfactory standard due to lack of knowledge, lack of skills, general incompetence or any other substantive reason.

  • Redundancy - for redundancy to be a valid reason for dismissal there must be a lack of work and the person chosen for redundancy must meet certain criteria with regards to legal procedure. Either the company must close down totally or the availability of work must have diminished and there must be no other suitable alternative work available. The company must follow established and fair procedures for selection and must consider alternative employment within the company.

  • Breaking the law - if continuing to employ an individual means that the employer is breaking the law, usually if the person is not legally entitled to work in this country, then they can be legally dismissed. In cases where a foreign workers work permit expires, an employer should still seek legal advice before dismissing the employee.

  • Employment tribunals will consider any other legal justification for dismissing an employee. It is advisable for an employer to obtain advice from specialist unfair dismissal solicitors prior to dismissing any employee for any reason.

Unlawful Termination

Unlawful termination of employment can come in many forms :-

  • Discrimination - termination due to race, sex, religious belief, disability, sexuality or age.

  • Trades Union - employment being terminated because an individual either did or did not join a union.

  • Leave - dismissal as a result of taking maternity leave/paternity leave/ante-natal leave/parental leave/dependants leave.

  • Industrial action - it is against the law to dismiss an employee for taking part in any industrial action which in most cases lasts less than eight weeks, or over eight weeks (usually in special circumstances). Professional legal advice should be sought in these cases.

  • A medical condition - termination of employment due to an illness that will not adversely affect performance at work.

  • Dismissal due to an employee refusing to work over 48 hours per week.

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