Unfair dismissal Manchester

An individual will generally need to be employed for 2 years to claim unfair dismissal. An employee must take legal action within three months less one day of termination. Before bringing a claim in the Employment Tribunal, the employee must go through the early conciliation process with ACAS which normally takes 6 weeks.


An employee will usually have at least a month from the end of early conciliation to bring a claim in the Employment Tribunal. We recommend you take legal advice from Manchester unfair dismissal solicitors Martin & Co before bringing a claim, as if you make a mistake at the outset, or delay a claim, this could have significant consequences.


To defend a claim for unfair dismissal, an employer will need to show that an employee was dismissed for one of the potentially fair reasons:


conduct; capability; redundancy; some other substantial reason –  and in dismissing the employee for that reason, that the employer acted reasonably in all the circumstances of the case.


The procedure adopted before dismissal is very important. For example, if the employee is accused of misconduct, he should be shown the evidence against him, called to a disciplinary hearing and be given the right to put his side of the story before being dismissed. He should also be given the right to be accompanied by a work colleague or a trade union official. If the employee is dismissed he should be given the right to appeal to someone not previously involved in the dismissal, if at all possible. An instant dismissal with no procedural safeguards, will usually lead to an unfair dismissal claim.


Equally, in a redundancy situation, an employer will be expected to consult with the employees affected and carry out an objectively fair selection process. Failure to do so could lead to an unfair dismissal claim.


If an unfair dismissal claim is successful the employee will be given a basic award, which is calculated like a statutory redundancy payment, and, depending on the financial losses suffered, the employee could be awarded up to £93,878 or a year’s pay, whichever is lower, but this will depend on whether the Tribunal believes that the employee will sustain substantial financial losses as a result of the dismissal, as the compensation is linked to either actual losses or likely losses.


The employee can also ask for reinstatement and this may be granted if the Tribunal believe that a suitable position is available and there is no good practical reason why the employee should not be reinstated.


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There are certain limited exceptions when an employee can claim unfair dismissal right from the start of their employment without needing the normal 2 years service, for example, if the dismissal relates to pregnancy, a health and safety issue, or because the employee “blew the whistle”. This is known as automatic unfair dismissal. Such claims have become more common in recent years. Full details are set out at sections 98A to 104 of the Employment Rights Act 1996. There are delays in the Employment Tribunal system due to Covid 19. Straightforward cases are taking about 6 months to be heard, and more complicated discrimination cases can take up to 18 months.

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