Most employees who have been in the same job for at least two years before their employment is terminated have the right not to be unfairly dismissed.
It may be that the dismissal was for some reason not considered fair according to the law, or that it wasn’t for the potentially fair reason that the employer claims. Often, somebody’s employment is terminated for a potentially fair reason, but it is procedurally unfair e.g. incorrect selection for redundancy, flawed disciplinary procedures etc.
A successful claim of unfair dismissal may result in a basic award equivalent to a redundancy payment and, often more important, compensation for loss of earnings sometimes stretching many months into the future, lost pension entitlement and other items.
Sometimes unfair dismissal cases also involve allegations of discrimination, whistleblowing and other breaches of employment law. These added dimensions may enable wider claims to be made to cover for example compensation for injury to feelings - even punitive or exemplary damages.
Very often these potential disputes lead to compromise, whether before or after proceedings are started. Typically the terms of a deal with need to be carefully embodied within a settlement agreement which will then prompt many other questions and discussions.
We have many years of experience in dealing with dismissal claims and the significant advantage of always having played poacher and gamekeeper – advising both employees and employers – though not in the same cases!
We have handled cases involving discipline and dismissal for many forms of misconduct from fighting and theft to bullying and internet misuse. We have dealt with management of poor performance and long term sickness and dismissals resulting from such problems. We have overseen and challenged redundancy and closure programmes.
We have been involved in complex arguments about whether or not an employment relationship exists or if somebody is an independent contractor, the effect of zero hours contracts and the impact on employment rights.
We are happy to bring our long and wide ranging experience to the table to try and solve problems at an early stage, whether it is at the side of the employer or the worker. The sooner we are able to get to grips with the situation, the less likely employers will make mistakes that may provoke a claim, or the more likely an employee will make the most of their situation with a realistic assessment of the merits.
Instruct us as early as possible. Email, or telephone 01460 200450.