Losing your job is a stressful and difficult time whatever the circumstances, which makes it even harder to judge your legal position and whether you have a claim to unfair dismissal. However, this shouldn’t mean you accept a position in which you’ve been mistreated by your employer. We’ve put together some of the core facts on unfair dismissal so that you can easily identify what category you fall into, what your options are, and what you should be doing next.

Firstly, several jobs are specifically exempt from unfair dismissal cases. Police officers, members of the armed forces, share fishermen, workers outside of Great Britain and dock workers are all unable to make a claim for unfair dismissal.

You are also ineligible if you are self-employed, but you may still have a case in some circumstances. If your employer has insisted on classifying you as self-employed, yet your working circumstances fit that of an employee, it can be decided that you are still entitled to make an unfair dismissal claim.

To be eligible whatever your circumstances, you must have worked for your employer for at least two years to have the right to make a claim. Remember, also, that you cannot be forced to retire whatever your age unless the company can argue significant justification for needing to do so.

The most important factor in judging your dismissal is to consider who has acted to bring the employment contract to an end. For example, if you resigned, but only because of pressure your employer was putting on you to do so, the responsibility would lie with your employer despite your resignation. On the other hand, if you were dismissed, but as a result of gross negligence and unacceptable behaviour at work, then the employer does not bear responsibility and cannot be charged for unfair dismissal.

It is also important to clarify the situation. Several sets of circumstances do not count as official dismissal, including suspension on pay, an ambiguous dismissal (for example in statements made during a heated argument) or a change of circumstances that was laid out in your employment contract.

Once you’ve assessed your situation from these criteria, it is essential to take action at once. You have only three months from the day of your dismissal, either the last day of your notice period or the last day you worked if there was no notice period, to claim against your employer.

If your still unsure about your position or want to take action, contact Beecham Peacock today. Our expert solicitors have extensive experience in employment law and working with trade unions to protect employees. If you’ve been unfairly treated you don’t have to put up with it, get expert legal help today.

Return to the blog