In accordance with the Employment Rights Act, there are only 5 permitted legal reasons to terminate a contract of employment, these are on the grounds of

  • Capability, either performance or ill health
  • Redundancy
  • Misconduct
  • Illegality/ breach of a statutory restriction
  • Some other substantive reason.

When an employment contract is terminated, you may be entitled to certain rights depending on how and why the dismissal itself occurred. If you are not aware of this, you may find yourself missing the opportunity to present an employment claim.

Before submitting a claim to the Employment Tribunal you first have to go through the ACAS Early Conciliation process. It is essential that you name the correct employer when instigating the ACAS process – you will be able to find this information in your contract of employment or on your P45.

Time limits for dismissal claims are quite tight and triggering the ACAS Early Conciliation process must be done within 3 months less one day of the ‘effective date of dismissal’.

Unfair dismissal claims can occur either when your employer unfairly dismisses you, or when you ‘dismiss’ yourself because your employer has acted in such a way that it fundamentally breaches the employment contract – this is known as Constructive Unfair Dismissal.

An employee must usually have two years continuous service with the same employer to be able to bring a claim for unfair dismissal. There are certain exceptions to this known as ‘auto unfair dismissal’ claims. You also do not require any specific length of service to bring claims for Whistleblowing or Discrimination claims.

There are very few circumstances in which an employee will be allowed to submit a claim out of time to the Tribunal. If you think you may have

been unfairly dismissed get in touch with one of our specialist employment team without delay.

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