What is classed as an automatic unfair dismissal?

Home Articles ARTICLES What is classed as an automatic unfair dismissal?
a
Automatic Unfair Dismissal

What is an automatic unfair dismissal?

When considering a claim for unfair dismissal, the Employment Tribunal will follow a certain legal protocol decide whether there will be a full hearing to decide on your case, such as determining how long an employee has been working for an organisation. As a general rule, employees cannot make a claim for unfair dismissal until they have been employed for an organisation for a minimum period of two years.

However, certain reasons an employer may have for dismissing an employee can be defined as ‘automatically unfair’. If you have dismissed a member of staff, and the circumstances given fall under one or more of the categories featured below, then they may still be able to make claim at the Employment Tribunal, regardless of their length of service, as each is considered as a breach of an employee’s statutory legal rights through legislation within the Employment Rights Act 1996.

What are automatic unfair reasons for dismissals?

Even if you’ve acted reasonably, some reasons for dismissal are classed as automatically unfair, and there are several grounds for which an employee can claim automatic unfair dismissal. The areas under which these claims are made include: –

  • Whistleblowing
  • Acting as an employee or a trade union representative
  • Dismissal relating to trade union representative
  • Pay and working hours, including the Working Time Regulations, annual leave and the National Minimum Wage
  • Acting as an occupational pension scheme trustee

Pregnancy, extending to all reasons relating to maternity/paternity, parental and adoption leave or time off for dependants

Compulsory retirement on the grounds of age is also unlawful unfair dismissal, unless you can objectively justify it – but this could be challenged at an Employment Tribunal.

What if it is considered an automatically unfair reason?

Should an Employment Tribunal determine that the claim being made against you is considered as an automatic unfair dismissal, then you will not be able to defend the claim. It won’t matter whether you acted reasonably or not, if the claim is substantiated then you will most likely lose the case.

You may be expected to either: –

  1. Reinstate the employee within the organisation
  2. Pay compensation

The compensation awarded will usually depend on your employee’s: –

  • Age
  • Gross weekly pay
  • Their length of service

There is a limit on the amount an Employment Tribunal can award for unfair dismissal, apart from in cases relating to dismissals for a discriminatory reason, or for raising a health and safety complaint.

Share:
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
LinkedIn

Social Media

Latest Posts

RIDDOR Landing page v x

What are RIDDOR Regulations & What are Employer’s Responsibilities for RIDDOR Reportable Incidents?

Firstly many people ask what RIDDOR means, RIDDOR stands for reporting injuries diseases, and dangerous occurrences. Accidents at work can happen, even with the best …

An Employer Guide to Disciplinary Action and Police Investigations

An Employer’s Guide to Disciplinary Action and Police Investigations

Without wishing to delve too heavily into the current (alleged) political shenanigans, there has been much discussion about the announcement of an investigation by the …

covid vaccine 800x296 1

Your Complete Guide to Mandatory Covid-19 Vaccinations

Earlier this month the government announced that The Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014 amendment had been passed by Parliament. The …

working from home

Can employers adjust sick pay for unvaccinated workers?

Can employers adjust sick pay for unvaccinated workers? There has been a lot of media coverage recently about various companies who are reducing sick pay …

working from home

Working from home: FAQs for employers

This week the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson announced the implementation of Plan B of its COVID-19 winter response due to rising numbers of COVID-19 cases …