Our employment law experts can help defend your business against unfair and wrongful dismissal claims.
If you need any advice, get in touch with our employment team today.
The body of law for bringing employment relationships to an end in the UK is substantial, so employers need to make sure they follow the correct procedure when dismissing an employee. Smooth Commercial Law’s employment law team are on hand to assist employers with unfair dismissal legal issues.
It is important employers understand exactly what unfair dismissal means. Each employment situation is different, and there are often legal pitfalls that employers need to be aware of.
Whether you need to ensure the dismissal you are about to make is fair, or you are defending against allegations of unfair dismissal, our employment law team is on hand to give you legal advice you can trust.
What is classed as an Unfair Dismissal?
A dismissal occurs when an employer terminates an employee’s contract of employment. If that employee has worked for 2 or more continuous years with their employer, they have certain legal rights which mean they cannot be unfairly dismissed.
Some things are automatically deemed unfair if they are the main reason for the dismissal. These include:
- Being pregnant or on maternity leave
- Being a trade union member or representative
- Asking for a legal right, like the minimum wage
- The employee took action about a health and safety problem
If your reason for dismissing the employee relates to one or more of the above, then it is likely you are unfairly dismissing the employee and leaving yourself open to an unfair dismissal claim in the employment tribunal.
What are the reasons for a fair dismissal?
Employers have five legal reasons for which they can dismiss an employee. The five fair reasons are:
- The employee’s conduct/misconduct
- The employee’s capability
- Where continued employment would break the law
- Some other substantial reason (SOSR)
An employer will still need to use a fair procedure to dismiss the employee, even if one or more of the above reasons are present. Our employment law solicitors can guide you through the dismissal procedure.
What is a wrongful dismissal?
A wrongful dismissal is slightly different to an unfair dismissal. This relates to where an employer has breached the terms of the employee’s contract. Examples of this include:
- dismissing an employee without giving them a notice period or notice pay
- not giving someone the full notice period they're entitled to
Any employee can bring forward a wrongful dismissal claim, even if they have worked there for under two years.
Both wrongful and unfair dismissals are different again from constructive dismissals. Read more about constructive dismissal here.
What are the penalties for Unfair Dismissals?
If the employment tribunal finds in favour of an employee in an unfair dismissal case, the employer can be forced to reinstate or re-engage (find a similar role) the employee. The tribunal will likely award compensation to the employee, made up of a Basic Award and a Compensatory Award.
How can Smooth Commercial Law help?
This area of law can be particularly complex for employers. We would advise speaking to an unfair dismissal expert to not only defend any potential claims against your business, but also protect yourself from future claims.
Our Liverpool, Manchester and St Helens Unfair Dismissal solicitors can offer clear and pragmatic employment law advice for small, medium and large businesses in England and Wales. We will explain everything in plain English, and help your business through an already challenging time. Our friendly team can provide advice to assist you in making the best decision for your company and your employees.
If you have any questions about making unfair dismissals, the processes, and the potential legal pitfalls, contact our experienced Liverpool, Manchester, St Helens, and North West unfair dismissal solicitors by calling 0800 046 9976 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also contact us through our enquiry form here.