unfair dismissal


unfair dismissal
A statutory claim under the Employment Rights Act 1996. An employee who has been dismissed can make a claim to an Industrial Tribunal that he has been unfairly dismissed. If the employer is unable to show that the dismissal was fair, based on a limited number of grounds, the Industrial Tribunal will award compensation up to a statutory maximum to be paid by the employer to the former employee. Unfair dismissal applies irrespective of any contractual period of notice. Not to be confused with wrongful dismissal.

Easyform Glossary of Law Terms. — UK law terms.


unfair dismissal
in the employment law of the UK, a termination of the employment of a worker for a reason that is not permitted under statute. This area of law is statutory and is superimposed on the common law of employment. An employee is 'dismissed' if the employment is terminated without notice or where a fixed term contract expires without notice. There are 'constructive' dismissals, where the employee terminates because of the employer's conduct. frustration, as by a long illness, might not be a dismissal. As to 'unfair', the law deems a dismissal as a result of trade union membership or activity or non-membership of a trade union as unfair. Pregnancy is deemed to be an unfair reason. Making a person redundant can be unfair if the employee was wrongly selected. The general rule as to fairness depends upon two factors:
(1) whether the reason for dismissal related to the employee's capability, qualification or conduct or was that the employee was redundant or that his continued employment would itself be a breach of the law or whether there was some other substantial reason of a kind such as to justify dismissal; and
(2) whether having regard to the reason shown, the employer acted reasonably or unreasonably in the circumstances in treating that reason as sufficient reason for dismissal. The employer must show the reason for the dismissal. There is no burden of proof either way in relation to the proof of the reasonableness of the dismissal. The test applied is the test of the reasonable employer.
The remedies available for unfair dismissal are of considerable practical importance in that the remedies are of a special nature. The cases are dealt with not by the ordinary courts but by the employment tribunals. The principal remedy is reinstatement, which gives the employee his job back just as if he had never been unfairly dismissed in the first place, with the same rights and seniority as he had before. Re-engagement is a lesser remedy, the employee being re-hired in a job similar to the one he lost but not with the same continuity and seniority. Various factors are considered in making such an order, and it may not be granted, either because the employee does not want to go back or because the employer offers to demonstrate that it would be impractical to have the employee back again. The alternative remedy is a payment comprising a basic award resembling a redundancy payment, and a compensatory award that is to be just and reasonable. The award may be reduced insofar as the employee has contributed to his own dismissal. There are limits on the maximum that can be paid (£50,000 at the time of writing) in ordinary cases but no limits in some others, like sex discrimination cases. If an employer is ordered to reinstate or re-engage and does not do so, the tribunal may award a further 13–26 weeks' pay (26–52 in cases of sex discrimination or race discrimination).

Collins dictionary of law. . 2001.


unfair dismissal
1) Any dismissal that is not for a fair reason or does not follow the correct legal procedure.
2) The statutory right not to be dismissed unfairly is contained in the ERA 1996. For a dismissal to be fair it must be for one of the potentially fair reasons contained in the ERA 1996; the employer must follow a fair procedure (including, where applicable a statutory DDP); and the decision to dismiss must be within the range of reasonable responses open to an employer in the circumstances.
Related links

Practical Law Dictionary. Glossary of UK, US and international legal terms. . 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Unfair dismissal — is the term used in English, Welsh and Scottish Law to describe an employer s action when terminating an employee s employment contrary to the requirements of the Employment Rights Act 1996. The concept of Unfair Dismissal therefore has a… …   Wikipedia

  • unfair dismissal — ➔ dismissal * * * unfair dismissal UK US noun [C or U] (also wrongful dismissal) ► HR, WORKPLACE a situation in which an employer orders someone to leave their job, when there is not a good reason to do so: »She decided to launch proceedings for… …   Financial and business terms

  • unfair dismissal — N UNCOUNT If an employee claims unfair dismissal, they begin a legal action against their employer in which they claim that they were dismissed from their job unfairly. [BUSINESS] His former chauffeur is claiming unfair dismissal on the grounds… …   English dictionary

  • unfair dismissal — The dismissal of an employee that the employer cannot show to be fair. Under the Employment Protection (Consolidation) Act (1978) employees have the right not to be unfairly dismissed, provided they have served the required period of continuous… …   Big dictionary of business and management

  • unfair dismissal — /ʌnˌfɛə dɪsˈmɪsəl/ (say un.fair dis misuhl) noun the dismissal of an employee, as by sacking, making redundant, or forcing them to resign, in violation of their contract or agreement, and in a manner which is harsh and unreasonable. Compare… …   Australian English dictionary

  • unfair dismissal claim — UK US noun [C] (also wrongful dismissal claim) ► HR, LAW a situation in which someone who has been unfairly told to leave their job starts legal action against their former employer in order to get money from them: »Her unfair dismissal claim… …   Financial and business terms

  • automatically unfair dismissal — Certain dismissals are automatically unfair dismissals, for example where the statutory dismissal and disciplinary procedure is not followed or where the dismissal is for a reason related to a TUPE transfer (where there is no ETO reason), the… …   Law dictionary

  • dismissal — dis‧miss‧al [dɪsˈmɪsl] noun [countable, uncountable] HUMAN RESOURCES when someone is removed from their job by their employer: • The 11 employees would face disciplinary action, ranging from reprimand to suspension or dismissal. • There will not …   Financial and business terms

  • dismissal — dis·mis·sal n 1: removal from a position or service 2 a: the termination of an action or claim usu. before the presentation of evidence by the defendant in·vol·un·tary dismissal 1: the dismissal of an action by the court because of the plaintiff… …   Law dictionary

  • dismissal and disciplinary procedure — (DDP) A procedure that must be followed when an employer contemplates dismissing or disciplining an employee. The statutory dispute resolution procedures in Schedule 2 to the Employment Act 2002 contain two DDPs: the standard DDP and the modified …   Law dictionary


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.