Employment agreement

Fair or Unfair Dismissal?

Under the Employment Rights Act, an employee with an employment contract has the right to not be unfairly dismissed.

If employment is terminated, it must be as a last resort when all other methods have been exhausted.  Dismissal must be fair, with good reason and a number of procedures must be respected before employment can be terminated. The employee then has the right to paid, reasonable notice depending on their length of continuous employment.

Here’s a brief look at the most common differences between fair and unfair dismissal.

Fair Dismissal

An employer has the right to terminate a contract for the following reasons:

  • Unreasonable conduct – examples include drinking, smoking or using narcotics in the workplace, theft and abuse of fellow workers.
  • Capability – if employment involves primarily driving, then a contract can be justifiably terminated if the employee loses their driving licence for causes such as reckless driving or DUI, therefore preventing them from carrying out their duties and causing a breach of contract.
  • Redundancy
  • Legal restrictions such as an employee’s immigration status.

Employment LawThe above reasons should be used as a last resort after trying to resolve employee conflict issues in an informal manner.

Disciplinary measures must be explained in a clear and concise manner, and explained to employees at the start of their employment. In the case of termination, due, paid notice must be given by the employer before the eventual termination of employment.

Unfair Dismissal

You cannot be dismissed for discrimination reasons such as:

  • Pregnancy
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Sexual orientation.

Wrongful dismissal can be claimed if the minimum notice period has not been respected or paid. Constructive dismissal can be claimed when an employee is forced to resign due to their employer’s unreasonable behaviour, which can include harassment, false accusations and sudden changes in their contract.

Mark Reynolds Solicitors specialise in employment law, have you suffered from discrimination or exploitation at your place of work? Contact Mark Reynolds Solicitors on 0800 002 9577 today to speak to our no win, no fee employment law advisors.