Chat with us, powered by LiveChat
The UK Careers Fair logo
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
HOMEABOUTEVENTSNEWSJOBS
exhibit with usget a ticket
CONTACT US

How To Avoid Unfair Dismissal Claims When Terminating Employment

February 8, 2022
by
Anisha Vaswani

Dismissing an employee, particularly as a small business is never a straightforward process and may lead to concerns around a potential claim against you for unfair dismissal. That being said, it is crucial not to delay dealing with problematic employees because of this, as this may lead to long term problems in the business.

In order to understand your rights to fair or constructive dismissal, it is firstly important to understand what unfair dismissal entails. An unfair dismissal claim is likely to arise where you terminate an employee’s contract, without a fair reason or without using the correct procedure.

You are not permitted to dismiss an employee under the following circumstances:

1.    Discrimination

It is strictly not permitted to let go of an employee due to their age, sex, gender, race, religion, disability, or relationship/marital status.

2.    An ‘automatically unfair’ reason.

This type of reason will always be unfair according to the law. This includes dismissal on the basis that the employee:

·      is pregnant / on maternity leave

·      has asked for their legal rights

·      took action about a health/safety issue

·      has reported a wrongdoing at work

·      refused to work on a Sunday

·      is a trade union member and took part in related activities

You can, however, dismiss an employee if they are not capable of doing their job, they have behaved badly, their role has become redundant, or a legal reason such as losing the right to work.

Without these reasons, it is likely that you are at risk of a tribunal claim.

If you have a fair reason for dismissal, which does not fall under the ‘discrimination’ or ‘automatically unfair’ criteria, it is accordingly crucial to follow the correct procedure. This includes:

1. It is firstly important to ensure that your valid reason for dismissal is implemented consistently across all employees. It should not be the case that other employees are doing the same thing which led to dismissal of another employee. This is also true for different types of workers, such as fixed-term, part time, or full-time.

2. Investigate the situation fully before dismissing the employee. If a complaint was made, investigate the extent to which it was their fault as it may be unlikely to reoccur.

3. You must give the employee the notice stated in their contract, or the statutory minimum notice period. That being said, if the individual is being let go due to violent behaviour, you may be able to dismiss them immediately.

4. It is useful to give the dismissal in writing, explaining the reasons for your decision. If this has been requested from the employee, it is important to supply the statement within 14 days of their request.

If the employee is on maternity leave, you must under all circumstances give this written statement at the time of dismissal.

It is ideal to seek legal advice before dismissing any employee in order to protect your business from any unfair dismissal claims, as well as to avoid long term damage to your business in failing to tackle an unsuitable employee.

Upcoming Events

Check out our full and comprehensive list of upcoming events.

Liverpool Careers Fair
August 4, 2022
Manchester Careers Fair
August 5, 2022
Milton Keynes Careers Fair
August 5, 2022
Newcastle Careers Fair
August 10, 2022
Sheffield Careers Fair
August 11, 2022
Colchester Careers Fair
August 12, 2022
Nottingham Careers Fair
August 17, 2022
Leicester Careers Fair
August 18, 2022
Wolverhampton Careers Fair
August 19, 2022
Brighton Careers Fair
August 24, 2022
Doncaster Careers Fair
August 25, 2022
Middlesbrough Careers Fair
August 25, 2022
Portsmouth Careers Fair
August 26, 2022
Cardiff Careers Fair
August 31, 2022
Exeter Careers Fair
September 1, 2022
Stoke-on-Trent Careers Fair
September 1, 2022
Northampton Careers Fair
September 2, 2022
Cambridge Careers Fair
September 7, 2022
York Careers Fair
September 7, 2022
Ipswich Careers Fair
September 8, 2022
Leeds Careers Fair
September 9, 2022
Gillingham Careers Fair
September 9, 2022
Truro Careers Fair
September 14, 2022
Plymouth Careers Fair
September 15, 2022
Bournemouth Careers Fair
September 16, 2022
Bristol Careers Fair
September 16, 2022
Swansea Careers Fair
September 21, 2022
 TAKE ME THERE