Unfair dismissal is a statutory right available to employees who believe they have been dismissed unfairly or unreasonably by their employer. Unfair dismissal is one of the most common complaint by employees against employers.

An employee who has the two years continuous service has the right not to be unfairly dismissed. There are certain circumstances where a dismissal is automatically unfair and no continuous service is required. If there has been a dismissal, the employer must show that the reason for dismissal is fair, the types of fair dismissals are contained in the Employment Rights Act 1996.


Firstly what do I need to bring an unfair dismissal claim?

The right to bring an unfair dismissal is restricted to employees, this refers to an individual who has entered into or works under a contract of employment. A contract of employment is defined as a contract for service which can be oral, or in writing and can also be implied by conduct.

The employee must have two years continuous service (however there are exceptions is some cases in which a dismissal is automatically unfair see below). The time limit for making a claim for unfair dismissal is three months less one day, this time limit is strictly enforced.

There are certain scenarios where a dismissal would be deemed automatically unfair include:

  • Applying for maternity or paternity leave
  • Applying for flexible working hours
  • The employers business was recently taken over
  • The employee became a member of a trade union

The above list is not exhaustive, however if you believe that any of these above situations were taken into account in the decision to dismiss you then you should seek legal advice.


How do I make a claim for Unfair Dismissal

The first step to take if you feel you have been unfairly dismissed is to seek legal advice. At Optimal Solicitors we will be happy to assist you in any way we can, please contact us on 0161 250 7771.