If your employer has dismissed you without good reason or your employer fails to follow a fair procedure, then it is likely that your dismissal will be unfair and therefore you may be able to pursue an unfair dismissal claim in an employment tribunal. Such claim can be pursued by an employee in the employment tribunal.
Who can make a claim for unfair dismissal?
Generally, the person bringing the claim (the claimant) must have been an employee and have been employed by their former employer for a period of 2 years.
What is unfair dismissal?
Unfair dismissal is when your employment contracted is terminated by your employer without following a fair procedure or where the reasons for the dismissal are unfair.
For a dismissal to be fair, the employer must demonstrate that the dismissal was for one of the following five reasons:
4. Where continued employed would break the law; and
5. Some other substantial reason.
Is there a minimum length of employment required to be able to claim unfair dismissal?
You are required to have been in continuous employment with the employer for a minimum of two years before a valid claim for unfair dismissal can be made. Without the two years’ length of service with your employer, it is unlikely that you will be able to raise a successful claim for unfair dismissal, but you may still be able to raise a claim under a different claim i.e., where discrimination has occurred or where you have been automatically unfairly dismissed.
What steps should I take if I feel that my dismissal is unfair?
Upon dismissal you should be provided with an opportunity to appeal the dismissal. You should send a detailed appeal letter to the employer explaining why you feel the dismissal was unfair. The employer should arrange for your appeal to be investigated and an appeal hearing should take place.
If the matter is not resolved following the appeal process, the next step is to enter into Early Conciliation with ACAS. ACAS will relay messages between the employee and employer to see if a resolution can be found.
If the matter is not resolved via ACAS, you will be issued with a certificate enabling you to raise a claim with the Employment Tribunal.
Is there a time limit to bring a claim for unfair dismissal?
There is a strict time limit to enter into Early Conciliation with ACAS of three months less one day from the date of the dismissal. Once ACAS have issued the certificate there is in most circumstances a time limit of one month from the date the certificate was issued to submit your claim to the employment tribunal. It is your responsibility to ensure these deadlines are met, if not, it can put your case in jeopardy.
How do I pursue a claim through the employment tribunal?
Once you are in receipt of the early conciliation certificate you must complete an online form, called an ET1, which you will submit to the employment tribunal with a detailed timeline of your case and explaining why you feel the dismissal was unfair. The employment tribunal will write to the employer to seek their response to your allegations and a date will be set for an employment tribunal hearing. During the employment tribunal process the employee will be titled the Claimant and the employer the Respondent.
What outcome can I expect to achieve?
Successful claims can result in a settlement figure being agreed between the parties using the ACAS Early Conciliation process, usually by way of settlement agreement or a COT3, of which both parties agree terms and sign an agreement. Or the Tribunal may award an amount if they find in favour of the Claimant. In some instances, the Claimant can be re-instated or re-engaged into their position with the employer.
At what stage should I consider speaking to a solicitor during the process?
Our employment law specialists will assist you every step of the way. Whether you require advice on the dismissal to determine if it was unfair or assistance writing a structured appeal letter. It is beneficial to have the assistance of an employment law specialist during the Early Conciliation process to ensure that you make the most of the conciliation process, a large number of cases are resolved during the ACAS process, and it can be helpful to know the legal value of your claim before starting the negotiations. If you are at the point of submitting a claim to the employment tribunal an employment law specialist can ensure that your claim is structured correctly, and the correct legal headings are included within your claim.
If you feel that you have a claim for unfair dismissal against your employer speak to our specialists who will be happy to discuss your case with you. We appreciate that this is often a difficult time and we offer a range of funding options to assist you. In some circumstances we may be able to offer a ‘no win no fee arrangement’.