Unfair and constructive dismissal
If you have been dismissed by your employer without a justifiable reason, or your employer fails to follow correct procedures in terminating your employment contract, then you may have a reasonable case for unfair dismissal.
From our Worthing office, 365 Employment Law supports employees in early conciliation and, where necessary, in preparing for and pursuing a claim for unfair dismissal in the employment tribunal.
The ACAS Code sets out the minimum standard procedures an employer should follow to dismiss. ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service).
Your dismissal could be unfair if your employer doesn’t:
- have a good reason for dismissing you
- follow the company’s formal disciplinary or dismissal process
Reasons for unfair dismissal
There are some reasons for dismissal that are automatically unfair, such as, because:
- of your race, gender, sexual orientation or any of the other protected characteristics under the equality laws (you may have other claims as well)
- you are pregnant (you may have other claims as well)
- you try to assert your employment rights
- you belong to a trade union or take part in lawful industrial action that lasts less than 12 weeks
Other situations when your dismissal is likely to be unfair include if you:
- asked for flexible working
- refused to give up your working time rights
- resigned and gave the correct notice period
- joined a trade union
- took part in legal industrial action that lasted 12 weeks or less
- needed time off for jury service
- applied for maternity, paternity and adoption leave
- were on maternity, paternity and adoption leave
- tried to enforce your right to receive Working Tax Credits
- exposed wrongdoing in the workplace (whistleblowing)
- were forced to retire (known as ‘compulsory retirement’)
Constructive dismissal is when you’re forced to leave your job against your will because of your employer’s conduct.
The reason you leave your job must be serious, for example, your employer:
- stops paying you or suddenly demotes you
- forces you to accept unreasonable changes
- allows other employees to harass or bully you
Your employer’s breach of contract may be one serious incident or a series of incidents that are serious when taken together.
Early conciliation and mediation
If you’re threatened with dismissal (or are dismissed) you can get help to resolve the issue through early conciliation via ACAS who will act independently.
ACAS will talk to both you and your employer about your dispute. It gives you the chance to come to an agreement without having to go to tribunal.
ACAS will not act as your representative, but you can ask someone else to represent you in early conciliation if you do not want to represent yourself.
365 Employment Law will advise you and take part in talks, making decisions and agreeing a settlement on your behalf.
Making a claim for unfair dismissal
If you fail to resolve the dispute through early conciliation, then the next step is to bring a claim in the Employment Tribunal.
To make a claim you (the claimant) must have been an employee and have been employed by the employer for a period of two years.
There is no qualifying period if you’ve been dismissed because of your political opinions or affiliation. You’ll automatically have the right to go to an employment tribunal.
In unfair dismissal claims, you must make the claim to a tribunal within three months of being dismissed.
For advice and guidance on whether you have a valid claim and how we can support you through the process, call us on 01903 863284 or use the contact form to detail your requirements.
Prices for employees claiming unfair dismissal
A guide to costs for making a claim in employment law cases for unfair or wrongful dismissal
Prices are for guidance and relate to our support in making a claim for unfair dismissal. If you have any queries, please contact Alex Jones. Alex Jones is an experienced employment law solicitor and director of 365 Employment Law. You can see his profile here.
Price list March 2020
The claim form outlining your case and the nature of the dispute: £750 + VAT
Document that sets out the factual detail of your claim, and the legal basis for it: £750 – £950 + VAT
The response form when a claim has been made against you: £900 – £1,300 + VAT
Attending a telephone Case Management Hearing on your behalf: £850 – £1,300 + VAT
Attending a preliminary hearing on your behalf at the Tribunal: £1,700 – £2,000 + VAT
Dealing with disclosure for Claimant: £850 – 1,200 + VAT
Dealing with Disclosure for Respondent: £950 – £1,400 + VAT
Drafting initial Witness Statement: £1,000 – £1,200 + VAT
Drafting extra Witness statements: £750 – £950 + VAT per statement
Attendance at Employment Tribunal: £275 + VAT per hour
These fees are a guide only and may be higher or lower dependent on complexity. We also offer Damages Based Agreements (no win, no fee) for Claimants.