Unfair Dismissal Advice for Employers

Where an employer brings someone’s employment to an end without proper legal justification or due process, this can be considered an unfair dismissal. Some dismissals are deemed automatically unfair, while others require closer examination. This is where our team of expert employment lawyers can help.

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If an employee successfully claims unfair dismissal, they will be able to make a compensation claim against your business, costing you time and money, as well as causing significant reputational damage. Having unfair dismissal advice from expert solicitors is therefore essential.

At Anderson Strathern, our employment law solicitors can be by your side to provide carefully tailored advice and support if your business is facing an unfair dismissal claim from an employee. Helping you to assess your options and understand where you stand.

Unfair dismissal claims have the potential to be extremely complex and combative, especially where matters proceed to the Employment Tribunal, which is why we take every step to negotiate an agreement which is in both parties’ best interests. However, if court proceedings are required, we will provide robust representation to ensure the best possible outcome.

The legal aspects of unfair dismissals our team can help you with:

  • Advice on discrimination and unfair dismissal, including during internal proceedings
  • Defending Tribunal claims
  • Mediation for Tribunal claims
  • Providing our own HR Business Partners to investigate allegations or to provide HR assistance during hearings.
  • Drafting, negotiating or advising on settlement agreements as a way to resolve a dispute before employment tribunal proceedings are brought.

Speak to our unfair dismissal solicitors today

If you’re looking for unfair dismissal advice, get in touch with our expert lawyers today.

Contact us on 0131 270 7700, visit our offices in EdinburghGlasgowEast Lothian or Shetland, or fill in our enquiry form at the bottom of the page to request a call back.

Our expertise with unfair dismissal

Discrimination law and unfair dismissal advice

Unfair dismissals do not necessarily relate to a specific breach of contract from an employee. This means that an employee can bring forward a claim for unfair dismissal if they believe that you, as their employer, did not have good reason to dismiss them, or did not follow formal disciplinary or dismissal procedures.

When instructed, our solicitors can work alongside you to review the particulars of your situation, assessing whether the actions you (and your employee) took could amount to unfair dismissal. This includes advising on discrimination laws and the way they relate to the details of the case at hand.

Defending Tribunal claims

If an employee is looking to take action against you in the form of an Employment Tribunal case for unfair dismissal, it is essential that you consult specialist legal advice and representation at the earliest opportunity.

Our team regularly represents clients across the UK in cases before the Employment Tribunal and Employment Appeal Tribunal and, when required, the Court of Session. The breadth of our client base and experience means that we are well placed to advise on all aspects of employment law, from the basic to the most complex of cases.

Mediation for unfair dismissal

We also have experienced and qualified mediators within our team who can help advise clients about strategies to minimise or avoid conflict. Our Mediation service may be of interest to you and your organisation.

Through this service we can offer support for clients looking to use mediation, either for specific business issues or to embed a culture within your organisation. We can also provide training in-house for teams on how best to introduce mediation methods into your internal structures.

HR assistance

Given that unfair dismissal claims are often tied closely with HR matters, your business may require some additional assistance on this particular issue. We can provide our own HR Business Partner to investigate allegations of unfair dismissal, or to provide general HR assistance during any hearings that take place.

Settlement agreements

Settlement agreements are legal contracts signed by both an employer and employee. These agreements can be used to agree on the terms to end an employment contract, or to resolve a disagreement that exists between both parties.

Depending on the circumstances, settlement agreements can prove to be an effective method of resolving disputes, including those that relate to unfair dismissal.

Typically, settlement agreements involve an employer paying a sum of money to the employee. Once the agreement is signed, the employee will waive their right to bring employment claims against their employer – including for unfair dismissal.

Agreeing to a settlement agreement may not always be in your best interests as an employer, so it is always important to consult expert legal advice before taking such steps. This is something our employment team can support you with.

To find out more about our expertise with settlement agreements for employers, click here.

What is the most common remedy for unfair dismissal?

If a claim for unfair dismissal is brought by an employee, there are a number of potential outcomes. The first may be that the claim is dismissed, and you will not be required to take any actions with regards to the employee.

However, if an unfair dismissal claim is upheld by an Employment Tribunal, common remedies could include:

  • Compensation
  • Reinstatement
  • Re-engagement

Compensation could be awarded to cover an employee’s loss of earnings, future loss of earnings, pension losses and loss of statutory protection. The employee does not return to their job.

Reinstatement means that an employee returns to their role as if they had never been dismissed in the first instance. An employee may still have a right to repayment for earnings lost between the date of the dismissal and the Employment Tribunal hearing.

Re-engagement means that an employee returns to their job at a particular date. The employee will not have a right to compensation for any loss of future earnings.

Is it difficult to prove unfair dismissal?

For an employee to make a successful unfair dismissal claim, they will need to be able to clearly prove that they were dismissed for an unfair reason, automatically unfair reason, or due to discrimination.

This can be difficult to prove, especially as an unfair dismissal claim does not necessarily relate to a direct breach of contract.

What are the 5 fair reasons for dismissal?

According to the Employment Rights Act 1996, the following are considered to be ‘fair’ reasons to dismiss an employee:

  • Conduct – An employee has acted in a way that is inappropriate or unacceptable
  • Capability – An employee cannot carry out their job correctly or does not have the right qualifications
  • Redundancy – A job is no longer needed
  • Legal Reasons – An employee cannot carry out their role legally (e.g. a lorry driver is banned from driving)
  • Some other ‘substantial’ reason

What falls under unfair dismissal?

A dismissal is considered unfair where an employee was employed for at least two years and any of the following apply:

  • There was no fair reason for the dismissal
  • The reason was not enough to justify dismissing them
  • A fair procedure was not followed

There are some examples of ‘automatically unfair’ reasons for dismissal, including:

  • Dismissal for making a flexible working request
  • Being pregnant or on maternity leave
  • Being a trade union member
  • Asking for legal right
  • Doing jury service

Why work with our unfair dismissal solicitors?

At Anderson Strathern, we have a team of highly experienced employment law solicitors who can advise on unfair dismissal and what it could mean for you as an employer.

We have strong expertise in the employment sector and will be able to provide you with the advice you need. Our team includes experienced advocates at the Employment Tribunal and accredited mediators.

Speak to our unfair dismissal solicitors today

If you’re looking for unfair dismissal advice, get in touch with our expert lawyers today.

Contact us on 0131 270 7700, visit our offices in EdinburghGlasgowEast Lothian or Shetland, or fill in our enquiry form at the bottom of the page to request a call back.

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