Fair Reasons for Dismissal and Unfair Dismissal

No one wants to be involved in a dismissal case, but sometimes it does unfortunately become necessary and its important you have fair reasons for dismissal.

Fair Reasons for Dismissal

There are limited circumstances in which a fair dismissal can be made, or under which unfair dismissal can be claimed.

For an employer to dismiss an employee fairly, the dismissal must fall under the grounds of:

  • Incapability to perform a job or lack of required qualifications
  • Misconduct
  • Redundancy
  • A statutory restriction or contravention of a legal enactment
  • Another substantial reason

Unfair Dismissal

For an employee to claim unfair dismissal, they must:

  • Have worked for their employer for a minimum of 12 consecutive months
  • Claim for a dismissal that is statutorily considered to be unfair (for example, by exercising a legal or contractual right)

Should an employee wish to lodge a case for unfair dismissal, the case will be taken to an employment tribunal. The tribunal will examine the case and assess whether the employer has behaved “reasonably in all circumstances”. Procedure should be followed as closely as possible from the outset of a claim, though some cases may be littered with complications and mitigating factors that may impede this.

In order to assess the reasonable behaviour of an employer within a case, the tribunal will examine whether:

  • Reasonable procedure was followed.
  • The decision of dismissal was made as a reasonable response from the employer.
  • The dismissal was fair given the facts known at the time.

In a case of an unfair dismissal claim, the employer is usually required to prove that their treatment of the employee was fair and their dismissal was justified. It is not usually the employee’s responsibility to prove that they were treated and dismissed unfairly, with the exception of an employee resigning and claiming that their employer made it impossible to remain in their job role (constructive dismissal).

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Fair Reasons for Dismissal and Unfair Dismissal

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