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Unfair Dismissal

In general, an employee can only make a claim against a business for unfair dismissal if your employee has been working for you for at least two years, unless they are dismissed for reasons such as:

  • Exercising (or attempting to exercise) a statutory employment right (such as maternity leave).
  • Becoming pregnant.
  • Joining (or refusing to join) a trade union.
  • Whistle-blowing.
  • Any form of discrimination.
  • Health and Safety issues.

Constructive dismissal – this is another form of unfair dismissal.  It occurs if your business has committed what is regarded by the employment tribunal as a fundamental breach of contract, making your employee’s position untenable and effectively forcing them to resign.

Employers are able to try and negotiate a settlement with employees if they feel they have a possible claim against the business, using ‘without prejudice’ discussions or ‘protected discussions’ to see if they can agree a settlement agreement in order to preclude them from making any claims against the business.  However, be aware before entering into an off the record conversation (‘without prejudice’ discussion) there must already be an outstanding dispute and that a ‘protected conversation’ can only be used in certain situations as it only covers unfair dismissal claims and not discrimination.

If you would like more detailed information about unfair dismissal or assistance with a particular issue ActifHR can help you.

For more information on other HR Policy support from ActifHR, click on another employment topic from the list on the left of this page.