Unfair Dismissal

Unfair Dismissal

Employment Law in Scotland protects all employees from being unfairly dismissed. If you have been unfairly dismissed you might be entitled to compensation. Our employment law specialists can offer a no-win, no-fee service from our specialists at Watermans Solicitors.

What is unfair dismissal?

Employees have the right not to be unfairly dismissed by their employer. A claim for unfair dismissal could be pursued if you are dismissed for any of the following reasons:

  • You assert a legal right, for example, you exercise your right to take a rest break
  • Raise a complaint of discrimination or unequal treatment
  • Needed time off for jury service
  • Request flexible working
  • Take time off in an emergency to look after dependants, for example, to look after a sick child
  • Take action over health and safety issues
  • Being pregnant or on maternity leave
  • In connection with a transfer of business
  • Giving evidence against the employer, by assisting a colleague either at their own Employment Tribunal hearing or at any matter internal to the workplace
  • Reported a wrong, often known as a whistleblowing claim

Employees are also protected from being unfairly dismissed if the dismissal amounts to discrimination on the grounds of race, sex, disability, age, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, religion and belief (including philosophical belief), sexual orientation and gender reassignment. Employees who are dismissed in relation to any of these may be able to pursue a claim for discrimination as well as unfair dismissal. For more info on discrimination claims, please visit our page.

The circumstances in which an employee can be fairly dismissed are limited. Redundancy, gross misconduct and capability can be fair reasons for dismissal. However, it really does depend on the individual facts of each case. In order to show that a dismissal is fair the employer needs to show that the procedure followed was fair and that the reason itself was sufficient to warrant dismissal. Failure to follow a fair procedure can lead render the dismissal unfair. Your employer is obliged to set out in writing the reason for your dismissal.

Taking your case to an Employment Tribunal

Being unfairly dismissed can have drastic consequences. Losing your income can have a devastating impact on you and your family. It is the role of the Employment Tribunal to compensate you for the financial losses that occurred as a result of your dismissal. Compensation is calculated over basic pay and compensatory pay.

Compensation amounts

The basic award is the equivalent of statutory redundancy pay and is based on your actual weekly earnings, capped at £525 per week (correct at the time of drafting) and your length of service, up to a maximum of £15,750.

The compensatory award is based on your actual loss of earnings, including loss of pension and benefits. This payment is awarded at the Tribunal’s discretion and is capped at £86,444.

How we can help

Being unfairly dismissed can be a difficult and stressful time. Our employment law specialists can provide a free assessment of your case. Unfair dismissal cases have strict time limits and need to be pursued within 3 months of the date of dismissal. Watermans can assist you in a sympathetic and sensitive manner and make the process as stress-free and straight forward as possible.

Constructive unfair dismissal

Constructive unfair dismissal allows an employee to resign, and treat themselves as though they have been sacked by the employer. The resignation must be in response to a serious issue that destroys the relationship between the employer and the employee. Essentially, there must be intolerable behaviour which forces the employee out of their job.

Examples of situations where an employee could claim constructive dismissal  are as follows:

  • Unjustified demotion
  • Where an employer fails to deal with bullying and harassment
  • Failing to provide a safe working environment
  • A fundamental breach of contract, such as a drastic change in hours
  • A pay decrease

How we can help you

Constructive unfair dismissal claims are difficult to win at an Employment Tribunal. Resigning from a job can be risky and it is important that you carefully consider whether there is an alternative way to resolve any dispute that you have with the employer before you resign.

Our employment law specialists can provide a free assessment. Constructive unfair dismissal cases have strict time limits and need to be pursued within 3 months of the date of dismissal. Watermans can assist you in a sympathetic and sensitive manner and make the process as stress-free and straight forward as possible. Please contact us to find out more or start a claim.