unfair dismissal


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Related to unfair dismissal: Wrongful dismissal

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.
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