Davies and Partners Employment Solicitors have expertise in advising employees on the legitimacy of a dismissal. The law allows 4 main reasons for dismissing an employee fairly. They are: as a result of disciplinary issues, redundancy, and work place performance and “for some other reason”. In order to properly dismiss someone an employer must follow a recognised process. If it wishes to dismiss somebody for work place performance or misconduct then it should confirm to a recognised procedure that follows the ACAS Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures. If the employer proposes to make one or more redundancies, then it must follow a recognised redundancy process involving consultation with the employees at risk of redundancy. There are more complex requirements to consult with those at risk where the numbers of between 20-99 and those over 100.
In order to qualify for claims for unfair dismissal an employee normally has to have a period of two years continuous service. There are however many exceptions to this rule and it is important for employees to be properly advised on whether they qualify to bring a claim for unfair dismissal or not. There is a growing tendency by some employers to think that if an employee has less than two years service that the employees can be “got rid of” without following any form of legal process. The exemptions are often linked with the various types of discrimination, where there is no minimum length of qualifying service. People who have therefore been employed for less than two years should not necessarily think that they have no employment law rights and they should always seek advice.
If an employee is successful in a claim for unfair dismissal he or she will recover what is called a basic award which is governed by age, length of service and remuneration. The basic award is calculated in the same way that a statutory redundancy payment is calculated. An employee can also recover compensation for loss of earnings up to a maximum of 1 year’s salary or £78,335 whichever is the lower. An employee is under an obligation to try and mitigate their loss by seeking to obtain other employment. Sometimes claims for unfair dismissal are brought in conjunction with other claims such as discrimination and breaches of the Working Time Regulations or National Minimum Wage or Living Wage.
If you have been dismissed or made redundant feel free to contact the Davies and Partners specialist employment law team