As the law surrounding employment and dismissal continues to expand, specialist knowledge on these matters is becoming essential for all employers in order to avoid problems further down the road. One of the most misunderstood matters is unfair dismissal, and as employment solicitors who advise on all employment matters, we have helped numerous companies who are involved with unfair dismissal accusations.
Dismissal should always be a last resort for employers, and should be carried out only after the company’s procedures for warnings and investigations have taken place to establish the facts. Many problems which arise between employers and employees are a result of miscommunication and can often be solved with a quiet word and discussion. However, if for whatever reason, you still believe it necessary to dismiss an employee, this must be carried out fairly.
A fair dismissal means that the dismissal follows company procedure and is executed calmly and professionally, and that the reasons for doing so are reasonable and just. Unfair reasons for dismissal include (though are not limited to) the employee asking for more flexible hours, asking for legal workers’ rights such as break times, asking for time off for maternity or paternity leave or joining a trade union.
However in many cases, the phrase “unfair dismissal” is taken out of context. Simply because an employee has been dismissed and is understandably upset about this, is not always grounds for a claim. Reasons for fair dismissal include (though are not limited to) a consistently poor job performance, a failure to turn up without asking for leave, drug or alcohol abuse or theft. In these cases, if verbal or written warnings were issued and the problem continued to persist, the employee has no grounds for a claim and you don’t need to stand for it.
If you or your organisation are wrongly accused of unfair dismissal, despite following both legal and professional procedures to let an employee go, Wrigley Claydon can help. Our team have vast experience in this field and can help you navigate the always ongoing changes to employment legislation, as well as being able to advise you on recruitment policy, pension provisions and employer obligations.
To talk to one of our employment solicitors, please call us on 0161 624 6811 for more information, or contact us online.
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