Know your employee rights: dismissal

Everything you need to know about dismissal

Dismissal – not the most exciting topic, but knowing your rights is crucial. Whether you’re navigating a challenging situation or preparing for what might come, understanding dismissal rights is essential.

What exactly is dismissal?

Dismissal occurs when your employer ends your employment contract. This can happen for reasons ranging from misconduct to redundancy. It’s important to understand the procedures and protections in place to ensure fairness.

Your rights simplified

Here’s what you need to know about your rights if you’re facing dismissal:

  1. Fair reason: Your employer must have a valid reason for dismissing you. This could include conduct issues, capability (performance-related reasons), redundancy, legal restrictions, or other substantial reasons.

  2. Procedural fairness: Your employer must follow a fair procedure. This typically involves investigation, a disciplinary meeting if necessary, and the opportunity for you to respond and appeal the decision. You also have the right to bring a colleague or trade union representative to any meetings.

  3. Notice period: You’re entitled to a notice period, which varies depending on your length of service:

    • Less than 1 month: No notice required.
    • 1 month to 2 years: At least 1 week’s notice.
    • 2 to 12 years: 1 week’s notice for each year worked.
    • 12 years or more: 12 weeks’ notice.

What not to do

In facing dismissal, it’s crucial to avoid actions that could worsen the situation. This includes refraining from misconduct, engaging in conflicts, or ignoring communications from your employer. Maintaining professionalism and seeking advice promptly can mitigate risks and protect your rights effectively.

Unfair dismissal

If you believe your dismissal was unfair, you may be able to challenge it. This could involve internal appeals or seeking advice from an employment tribunal. It’s essential to seek professional advice promptly if you think you’ve been unfairly dismissed.

If you need more detailed advice, don’t hesitate to reach out to a legal professional or advisory service like ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service)

Final thoughts

Facing dismissal can be daunting, but knowing your rights puts you in a much better position. Stay informed, stay proactive, and remember to seek appropriate advice and support when needed.

If you have questions or need further guidance, don’t hesitate to reach out. Understanding your rights is the first step to protecting your career.