Losing your job is a traumatic experience at the best of times but when you believe that your dismissal is unfair and breaks the law, that is an entirely different matter.
It is always a good idea to read regular updates on the latest legal information, which you can do via sites such as lawalways, and you may well get some pointers on whether your former employer has dismissed you without reasonable grounds to do so.
Every employer has to follow a set of protocols and procedures if they are going to terminate your employment correctly and within the rules of employment law.
Here is a look at the typical steps that need to be followed when an employer wants to end your contract of employment with them.
A reason has to be given
Employment can be very complicated and the contract with your employer may have certain terms and conditions within the document that can have an impact on the outcome of an unfair dismissal claim.
However, there is always a standard legal framework that often forms the basis of a contract.
When assessing the facts of your dismissal and asking a third party like a tribunal to review your claim it is usual to start by checking if the employer has taken the right steps to terminate your employment.
The first step is normally to provide a specific reason why they have decided to end your employment.
The employer must clearly detail the primary reason why they have terminated your employment contract. The reasons behind your dismissal are the basis of a legal challenge if you believe that the explanation is unfair or wrong.
You are entitled to a written explanation that outlines the reasons for your dismissal.
Check whether the reason is automatically considered to be unfair
The next step is to clarify whether the reason or reasons put forward are a fair basis for dismissal.
If you have clearly been discriminated against on grounds of race, age, religion, ethnicity, or other discriminatory reasons, that would automatically be grounds for contesting the decision to sack you.
A breach of your statutory employment rights would also be a valid reason for claiming unfair dismissal.
A good example of this would be when you are accused of taking part in strike action and the employer dismisses you as a result of this. You always have certain statutory rights and an employer is not able to dismiss you if you exercise some of these rights.
Does your employer have a potentially fair reason for dismissing you?
The third step to check is whether your employer can demonstrate that your dismissal is “potentially” fair.
What this means is that there are several categories of dismissal that they could attempt to justify as the reason for getting rid of you.
One example of this would be when they decide to make you redundant by claiming that your position is no longer required or available.
Your employer will have to clearly say which category of “potentially” fair reasons your dismissal falls under.
The whole process can be a legal and emotional rollercoaster that is fraught with obstacles if you don’t have the legal know-how and experience to counteract claims made by your former employer.
You can check these three basic steps relating to unfair dismissal but it is also a good idea to get professional legal guidance as soon as possible once you find out you are being dismissed.
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