An employee who has two years of continuous service with the same employer has the right to bring a claim for unfair dismissal, if they consider they have been unfairly dismissed.
There are 5 statutory potentially fair reasons for dismissal of an employee. If an employer is considering dismissing an employee it is important that the appropriate reason for dismissal is selected and the appropriate procedure followed in order to strengthen any defence to a claim for unfair dismissal that may be made by the employee after their dismissal.
Sometimes an employee may resign and claim that – due to a serious breach of the contract of employment by the employer – their resignation was in reliance on a repudiatory breach by the employer, so that their resignation amounts to a constructive unfair dismissal.
There are various grounds on which it may be possible for an employer to defend and dispute a claim for unfair dismissal, and even if successful there are various grounds on which t argue for a reduction in any compensation that may be found payable buy the Tribunal.
In certain circumstances, an employee may claim unfair dismissal without the need for 2 years of continuous service, for example if the employee considers they have been dismissed for an unlawful reason – if the employer’s decision to dismiss was because the employee had asserted a statutory right or had made a protected (whistleblowing) disclosure. These claims are sometimes referred to as automatic unfair dismissal claims and are not subject to the statutory cap on compensation.
At Hanne & Co our Employment Law team can provide advice, assistance and representation to an employer when faced with a claim by an employee for unfair dismissal.