There are certain circumstances under which dismissing an executive is automatically unjust.
When the company terminates an employment contract without a valid reason, it is an unfair dismissal. This is often also an illegal termination.
Unfair layoffs is another term you may encounter, but the official “Employment Law” term is unfair dismissal.
Suppose you dismiss an employee for one of the following reasons. In that case, it is unreasonable for the employment court (some companies mistakenly call it the unfair court dismissal) to agree with the dismissal:
- Unfair reasons for dismissal
- Failure to comply with fair dismissal protocols
However, the issue of employment law is more complex than a summary of it in one article. Your company must be well-versed in dealing with wrongful dismissal claims in the workplace.
If you do not do this, you may end up having to face costly employment court procedures and pay compensatory damages.
What is Unfair Dismissal?
There are several reasons why terminating someone’s employment can be considered unfair dismissal. Here are some of the reasons:
- Your employer fired you without a valid reason (for example, if your job performance was not wrong).
- When firing you, the management did not pursue the proper protocols (for example, whether they did not follow the company’s termination protocols or the minimum legal dismissal processes).
- You were fired for unjustifiable excuses, such as wanting to take maternity leave.
If you believe that your employer terminated your job unfairly or because of an unjust reason that violates your rights, then you may have been unfairly fired. You can appeal to the authorities responsible for fair work policies. You can go to this page for more in-depth information about unfair dismissals.
Automatic Unfair Dismissal
There are several reasons that you should be terminated instantaneously, which is unlawful. Suppose you are dismissed for any of the above reasons. In that case, you should be able to file a claim in the Industrial Court for unfair dismissal.
Assume your boss fires you when you exercised or attempted to execute one of your contractual (statutory/legal) job privileges. In that case, you will automatically be considered to have been unfairly fired.
Employees’ legal employment rights include the following rights:
- Written employment description
- A detailed payslip
- Paternity leave, maternity leave, or adoption leave
- Minimum notice period
- Leave for a prenatal checkup.
- Vacation for family members
- Parental leave
- The right to request flexible working arrangements
- You will not face prejudice because of ethnicity, race, impairment, culture or religious beliefs, political views, sexual identity, or age.
- Request Time off for business (e.g., jury duty)
- Protective measures against illegal wage deductions
- Remuneration during suspension due to medical reasons
- Make public interest disclosures.
- Have time to find a job or arrange training before layoffs
- Leave for study or training.
Dismissed due to Pregnancy or Maternity Leave
If you are pregnant, dismissal will be deemed unfair if the firing happened for any of the following reasons::
- For any cause related to pregnancy
- During your regular or extra maternity leave
- Because you have taken leave or want to take regular or extra maternity leave
- You may be suspended or have already been terminated regarding health and safety concerns.
- Keep in touch with your employer during maternity leave (or not keep in touch)
- Did not tell you the time of the vacation correctly
- Give you 28 days’ notice before the end date of maternity leave, and it is impractical for you to return to work
Dismissed due to Disciplinary Action or Complaint
You have the right to participate in a disciplinary or appeal meeting accompanied by a union representative or colleague. You may still delay the trial if the companion is unable to attend. It would immediately become unethical if you are dismissed for attempting to enforce these privileges or supporting a coworker.
This is true for both staff and non-employees (such as agents).
Dismissal before, during, or after the Business Transfer
Suppose the organization with which you operate is being sold or purchased by another. In that case, you can be covered by the “The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment)” clause (TUPE).
Suppose you are protected and are fired by a new or old employer due to a transfer or related reasons. In that case, the dismissal will automatically become unfair. The only exception is if your employer can prove that the dismissal was due to financial, technical, or organizational reasons.
Unfair Choice to Achieve Redundancy
Layoffs are a form of dismissal. If you have been laid off for unfair reasons, you will be unfairly fired.
Dismissal Relating to Part-time or Regular Work
As a part-time or new employee, your treatment should not be lower than that of full-time or long-term employees. You cannot be fairly dismissed because:
- You are doing a part-time job.
- You complain that your treatment is not as good as other employees
- You either have facts or get involved in a petition filed by a coworker.
- Your boss believes you plan to do all of the above.
Dismissal Related to your Working Hours
You are usually entitled to paid time off, rest time, and limit your employer’s average time to ask you to work each week. You will not be dismissed if you refuse to accept any of the following purposes:
- Moreover, if your supervisor orders you to work, you have the right to be paid for your work hours.
- Sign a labor agreement that affects your right to work hours
- operating hours
Dismissed in a Labor Dispute
It would be unfair if your employer is fired for participating in a legal industrial action of 12 weeks or less. Let us say your boss has not made a reasonable effort to settle a labor dispute, and you have been working for more than a month. Under that scenario, you are covered from being fired without cause.
Suppose you are involved in illegal industrial actions. In that case, your employer can fire you fairly, as long as they treat you equally as other employees engaged in similar/same unlawful industrial activities.
Dismissed for Union Reasons
If you are fired due to union membership, approval, or pledge of funds, it will automatically be unfair. This includes dismissal for the following reasons:
- Decide to participate, not participate in the union’s activities or use its services.
- Refuse to waive your rights under the collective agreement
- Oppose or refuse to pay for union members
- In the workplace, indicate your support or non-support for any aspect recognized by the union.
- Ask your employer to stop paying your union pledges to the union’s fund.
- Object to deductions from your salary for unauthorized or excessive union dues
- Introduction to the Union
Dismissal of Relevant Wages
You cannot be dismissed for the reasons listed:
- Registered for, or about to become eligible for, the National Living Wage (NLW) or the National Minimum Wage (NMW).
- Insist that you are entitled to a salary of at least NMW or NLW
- Report that your employer has not paid NMW or NLW
- National minimum wage and national living wage
Dismissal of Activities Related to Trustees of Occupational Pension Schemes
If you are the trustee of an employee’s occupational pension fund, you are entitled to reasonable paid leave. You cannot be fired legitimately for carrying out or attempting to carry out your responsibilities.
Dismissed for Health and Safety Reasons
If you are fired for the following reasons, you will be unfairly fired:
- Conduct or attempt to conduct any activities as your health and safety representative (rep) to reduce risks to health and safety
- As an authorized or employer-approved safety and health officer or board representative, you are conducting or proposing to execute your responsibilities.
- Draw your employer’s attention to the health or safety of the workplace
- Feel free to leave if there is indeed a substantial and urgent risk that can be prevented. It is proposed that you resign or refuse to report to work.
- Take or attempt to take the necessary precautions to shield yourself or others from immediate and immediate risk.
Dismissal Related to Activities as an Employee Representative
You cannot be fired for bargaining with the boss as an employee representative (or contemplating becoming an employee delegate) over the following:
- Business transition
You cannot be reasonably dismissed for the following reasons or performing duties:
- Representative of the European Labor Council
- Members of specialized negotiating bodies
- Information Consultant
Dismissal Related to Tax Credits
If you are fired, you will be fired unfairly because of:
- You are or may be entitled to work tax credits
- You are trying to enforce your rights to obtain work tax credits
- You try to enforce your rights, and your employer is prosecuted or fined
As you can see here, the difference between improper dismissal and unfair dismissal is that the former is related to breach of contract. This is contract law.
A common example of improper dismissal is when an employee receives a wrong notice.