Unfair and Constructive Dismissal

Unfair Dismissal happens when the reason for the dismissal is not deemed a fair reason under Employment law. Accepted reasons for dismissal include:

  • Capability and Qualifications
  • Conduct
  • Redundancy
  • Illness (in specific circumstances)
  • Retirement**
  • Statutory restriction
  • Some other substantial reason

An unfair dismissal can occur where the above reasons are not satisfied – it may be the case that there has been no fault in the work you do, or the way you behave. It can also happen if your employer fails to follow correct internal or the statutory-minimum dismissal procedures when terminating your employment. There may also be a case where you have been dismissed for an automatically unfair reason, such as a breach of your statutory employment rights.

 **With recent changes in the law Munro & Noble would recommend seeking legal advice before relying on Retirement as a reason for dismissal.

An employee can bring a claim before an Employment Tribunal if: they are able to show a dismissal has taken place, either through express dismissal by the employer; the premature expiration of a fixed term contract; or a constructive dismissal. A claim for Unfair Dismissal must be commenced within 3 months of the dismissal.

Constructive dismissal occurs when the nature of your employer’s conduct forces you to resign, against your will.

Your treatment at work must have been unreasonable and unacceptable. Examples of such treatment could include:

  • Harassment or bullying
  • Unexplained cuts to, or non-payment of wages
  • Unreasonable Increases/decreases in working hours
  • An unexplained demotion or loss of holidays
  • Being dismissed due to health reasons e.g. due to a pregnancy

The conduct of your employer must be either a serious, isolated breach of contract, or an accumulation of events which amount to unreasonable behavior when added together.

To succeed with a claim for constructive dismissal, you must satisfy the tribunal that your contract of employment was breached in a material way, which had the effect of making your position untenable.

It is advisable to try and discuss matters with your employer. If this is unsuccessful then you should seek legal advice on how to proceed.

Munro & Noble can assist with Unfair & Constructive Dismissal claims against employers, as our solicitors have the knowledge and experience to advise you on whether or not you have a claim to pursue.