Everything You Need To Know About Unfair Dismissal

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  • Unfair dismissal occurs when an employee is dismissed in a way that is considered to be harsh, unjust, or unreasonable.
  • Discrimination, sexual harassment, and whistleblowing can constitute unfair dismissal. 
  • Employees have legal protections against unfair dismissal and may be eligible for compensation if successful in their claim. 
  • Seeking legal advice, gathering evidence, and making a complaint are vital steps for employees who feel they have been unfairly dismissed.

Losing your job can be a traumatic event, and it can be more devastating if you feel that you have been unfairly dismissed. Unfair dismissal is such a contentious topic because it can have severe long-term impacts on individuals and their families. No one wants to lose their job unfairly, and it’s important to know what constitutes unfair dismissal and how to protect yourself if you feel you have been unfairly treated. From defining what unfair dismissal means to outlining the legal protections that are in place for employees, here are the things you need to make informed decisions or take action if you’ve been unfairly dismissed.

What constitutes an unfair dismissal?

It can be considered unfair dismissal when an employee is fired in a way that is considered to be harsh, unjust, or unreasonable. Each country sets out specific criteria that must be met before a dismissal can be regarded as fair. In general, an employer must demonstrate that the release was for a valid reason and that the proper procedures were followed. Here are some grounds that can constitute unfair dismissal:


Discrimination is one of the most common grounds for unfair dismissal. It can refer to a wide range of behaviors including, but not limited to, dismissing an employee on the basis of their gender, race, age, or disability. It is also important to note that discrimination does not have to be intentional for it to be considered unfair; an employer can still be liable for unfair dismissal even if they did not intend to discriminate.

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Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is another common form of unfair dismissal. This includes any behavior that is sexual in nature and that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.

This could include unwanted advances, inappropriate touching, or the use of derogatory language. It’s important to note that sexual harassment can take many forms, and employers must demonstrate that they have taken steps to prevent such behavior in the workplace.


Whistleblowing is a form of whistleblowing that refers to an employee’s disclosure of information they believe to be evidence of illegal or unethical conduct by their employer. This can include things like fraud, corruption, discrimination, or safety violations in the workplace. In order for it to be considered a valid complaint, an employee must provide reasonable evidence to support their allegations.

What can employees do if they feel they have been unfairly dismissed?

If you believe that you have been unfairly dismissed, the first thing you should do is seek legal advice. A lawyer who specializes in employment law can help you understand your rights and the legal options available to you. Here are some other tips that you can do:

Gather Evidence

The importance of gathering evidence to support an unfair dismissal claim cannot be overstated. It is crucial for employees to document any relevant information or conversations that could lead to a more successful claim. This includes emails, phone calls, any contracts, agreements, or policies in place, as well as any written accounts of the events that led up to the dismissal.

Contact a Solicitor

The best way to defend oneself against unfair dismissal is to enlist the help of reliable solicitors. Solicitors who specialize in employment law can provide sound legal advice and guide one through the process of making an unfair dismissal claim. Furthermore, they can provide assistance with gathering evidence to support the claim.

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Make a Complaint

The right to lodge a complaint against an employer is a crucial protection for employees who feel they have been unfairly dismissed. Employees can initiate the complaint process by speaking to their employer directly or writing a formal letter of complaint. Ultimately, however, it is up to the employee to decide whether they wish to pursue a claim in court.

Unfair dismissal is a complex area of employment law that can be overwhelming for many people. It is essential to know that legal protections exist for employees who feel they have been unfairly dismissed, and steps can be taken to challenge the fairness of a dismissal. If you are ever faced with an unfair dismissal situation, remember that you don’t have to go through it alone. Help is available from qualified professionals who can guide you through the process and provide the support you need.

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