How to Claim for Unfair Dismissal
In order to make a claim for unfair dismissal in an Employment Tribunal, you must meet certain criteria. You must:
- Be an employee (not an agency worker, or self-employed)
- Have at least two years’ continuous employment
- Make your claim within 3 months (less one day) of the dismissal taking place
Importantly, if you feel you have been dismissed from work because of a Protected Characteristic, such as race or gender, then the two-years of continuous employment does not apply in relation to discrimination claims under the Equality Act.
How to Claim for Unfair Dismissal
You can raise an unfair dismissal claim by bringing your claim before an Employment Tribunal. There are three ways to do this:
- Do it Yourself
- Through a Trade Union
- Through an Employment Solicitor
You can make the claim by yourself, but the process can be daunting and the Employment Tribunal will expect you to present your case convincingly.
If you are a member of a Trade Union, you may have union representatives who will be able to assist you; however, they may not be familiar with the current standard of evidence required to prove a claim at an Employment Tribunal.
Our Employment Law Solicitors are experts in handling unfair dismissal claims and are best placed to represent you in an Employment Tribunal. We can provide you with detailed guidance on what evidence the Tribunal needs to be convinced of in your claim.
When Should I Make a Claim?
We would advise that you make your claim as soon as possible from the point of dismissal. You will have three months (less one day) from your termination of employment to register with Acas in order to obtain an Early Conciliation reference number.
Termination of employment is defined as:
- When your employment contract is terminated by your employer, giving notice
- When your employer terminates your employment contract without giving notice
- When a fixed-term employment contract comes to an end
So, for example, if your employment came to an end on 1st July, you would need to make a claim by 31st October.
Unfair Dismissal Law
Section 94 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 protects an employee’s right not to be unfairly dismissed. It could be considered unfair dismissal if:
- Your employer doesn’t prove they had one of the lawful reasons for dismissing you
- The correct company procedure is not followed when dismissing you
Under Section 98 Employment Rights Act 1998 your employer must show that they had a potentially fair reason that they can justify, and that they have acted reasonably in the circumstances.
For example, if you were dismissed from work for poor performance, then this is usually because they think you are not capable of performing to a required standard. However, a performance management process should be undertaken by the employer to remedy the situation. This may include disciplinary warnings and additional support and training.
It is unlikely to be a fair dismissal in performance situations to dismiss you without going through these stages.
How our Employment Solicitors Can Help You
An Employment Solicitor can review your case initially to determine whether you’ve suffered unfair dismissal. If this is the case, then we can engage with your employer to secure compensation or reinstatement.
In many unfair dismissal cases, our clients don’t have to go through the lengthy process of making an Employment Tribunal claim.
Our Employment Solicitors combine legal expertise with a down-to-earth, friendly and pragmatic approach. And we’ll give advice in line with the approach you want to take, as some clients want and need tough action, while others may prefer a more appeasing approach.
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