unfair dismissal

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Unfair Dismissal

1. In British law, the termination of an employee without proper procedure. In general, an employer must give warnings, discipline an employee in other ways, offer alternative duties, and/or allow the employee to have counsel present at any disciplinary hearing. Specific requirements are complex, but an employer must usually give the employee a chance to defend himself/herself. If the employer unfairly dismisses an employee, a tribunal may order reinstatement, compensation or assistance in finding a new job.

2. More broadly, any termination in violation of the law or an employee's employment contract.

unfair dismissal

the unfair termination of a person's employment by the employer. Dismissal can be held to be unfair if the employer cannot show a ‘fair’ reason and acted ‘unreasonably’ in taking the decision to dismiss. A fair reason is one where for some reason the employee is not able to carry out satisfactorily the duties associated with the employment or where the job is no longer needed because of REDUNDANCY. For instance, it would probably be considered fair to dismiss a chauffeur who had been disqualified from driving but unfair to dismiss someone on the grounds of personal dislike. To have acted reasonably the employer should have clearly informed the employee of the grounds for dismissal and given the employee the opportunity to put a personal point of view.

Constructive dismissal is where an employee feels forced to leave because the employer acts unlawfully, unfairly or otherwise breaches the CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT. A female employee who is subject to sexual harassment by her manager and who feels forced to leave her job as a result could possibly claim that she had been constructively dismissed.

An individual who believes the dismissal to be unfair may pursue a claim for reinstatement or compensation at an EMPLOYMENT TRIBUNAL. In determining whether dismissal is fair, tribunals draw on case law and an ADVISORY, CONCILIATION AND ARBITRATION SERVICE code of practice on DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURES. A very small minority of those who take unfair dismissal claims to tribunal actually achieve reinstatement. The number of claims taken to tribunal has increased in recent years and policy makers have sought ways of limiting this growth. For instance, claimants have to pay a deposit, and CONCILIATION prior to a formal hearing is strongly encouraged. See EMPLOYMENT APPEALS TRIBUNAL.

unfair dismissal

the termination of a person's employment for reasons other than the person's inability to carry out the work tasks specified in his or her contract of employment. Unfair dismissal could be on the grounds of personal dislike or refusal to join a trade union. See EMPLOYMENT ACTS 1982 and 1990.
References in periodicals archive ?
Another indicator of the seriousness or otherwise of unfair dismissals in an economy must be the manner in which claims have been dealt with by the AIRC.
There is no evidence from these results that unfair dismissals are a financial burden on small businesses.
The leaked document, dated October 12, said the first major issue for British enterprise was the "terrible impact of the current unfair dismissal rules on the efficiency and hence competitiveness of our businesses, and on the effectiveness and cost of our public services".
He said that there was nothing in European law that would prevent the Government abandoning unfair dismissal laws.
This can result in them tackling procedures which if carried out incorrectly could lead to costly claims for unfair dismissal, stress related illnesses, sexual and disability discrimination and a range of other grievances.
The main provisions of the bill include new rights for maternity and paternity leave and time off for family emergencies, greater protection against unfair dismissal and new rights for part-time workers.
Casual employees will be covered for the first time, and unfair dismissal protection will be available to workers in businesses with fewer than 100 employees provided they have worked there for six months.
Workers at small businesses with fewer than 15 employees will also receive unfair dismissal protection provided they have worked there for 12 months.
Under section 111A, evidence of pre-termination negotiations are inadmissible in unfair dismissal proceedings.
New caps on compensatory awards in unfair dismissal cases will also allow employers to measure with more certainty the financial risk of how much a case could cost them.
The TUC recently announced that a survey of unfair dismissal claims showed compensation payments had risen to a record pounds 14 million last year.