Unfair dismissal and redundancy
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Unfair dismissal claim
An employee (even a part-timer) with one year’s continuous service who is sacked without a fair reason and reasonable treatment can claim unfair dismissal and can be awarded compensation by an employment tribunal.
A dismissal is automatically unfair if it is for one of a number of prescribed reasons, including whistleblowing, health and safety activities or illegal discrimination. This applies to all workers, no matter how short their period of employment.
If an employee’s contract of employment does not specify a notice period, they are entitled to a reasonable period of notice if dismissed. In any case, the employee is entitled to at least the statutory minimum notice period of one week after one month’s employment. After this, entitlement increases at the rate of one extra week per year, to a maximum of 12 weeks after 12 years’ employment.
If you are dismissed without the right notice, this is wrongful dismissal and our employment lawyers can advise on any compensation claim you might be entitled to.
Breach of contract
If you believe your employer has breached your contract we can advise you on the most appropriate action to take. For example, an employee can claim constructive dismissal if their pay is reduced without agreement or is told to resign.
Employees who are made redundant are not entitled to claim redundancy pay until they have over two years’ service. Tax is not payable in respect of statutory redundancy pay.
In general terms, being made redundant means that the job must have disappeared. Also, the employer must select employees for redundancy on a fair and objective basis, after reasonable consultation and with adequate notice and a fair appeals procedure.
If you have been unfairly dismissed by means of redundancy, our employment law experts can advise you of your rights and what action to take.
If you feel you have been unfairly dismissed because of a transfer of business, you should raise the matter by way of your employer's internal procedures. If this doesn't resolve the issue, you ultimately have the right to complain to an employment tribunal if you've been employed continuously for a year or more.
If you were employed immediately before the transfer (or if you would have been had you not been unfairly dismissed for a reason connected with the transfer) you automatically become an employee of the new employer, unless you object to being transferred and inform either employer. Your continuity of employment is not broken and you keep all the rights and obligations under your contract of employment with your previous employer.
Employees can refuse to transfer (or "opt-out"), but depending on the circumstances of the case, they can lose valuable legal rights if they do. The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations (TUPE) states that "all the transferor's rights, powers, duties and liabilities under or in connection with the transferring employees' contracts of employment are transferred to the transferee".
This all-embracing concept encompasses rights under the contract of employment, statutory rights and continuity of employment and includes employees' rights to bring a claim against their employer for unfair dismissal, redundancy or discrimination, unpaid wages, bonuses or holidays and personal injury claims etc.
Our employment lawyers can advise employees on their rights under the TUPE provisions and can assist with any claims of unfair dismissal that may arise as a consequence.