Being Dismissed by Your Employer:
As an employee you have certain rights, and in the event your employer seeks to dismiss you they are obliged to follow certain procedures laid out in law. Knowing what your rights are can safeguard your employment and ensure that you are treated fairly.
As a well-established and highly experienced firm of solicitors, Kahn and Co. Solicitors can give you guidance and advice in the event that you have, or believe that you have a grievance against your employer in respect of your dismissal.
As a quick guide to your rights (and the rights of your employer) you should be aware of the following. If your employer seeks to dismiss you they must:
- Have a valid and justifiable reason for doing so
- Have acted reasonably in the circumstances. This is a difficult area to legislate and if you feel that they have acted unreasonably – for instance dismissing you in anger rather than in a cool and considered manner – then you may have cause to question their actions.
- They should be consistent. They cannot dismiss you for something that other employees do and are known to do.
- They must investigate the full situation surrounding the reasons for which they seek to dismiss you. If they are acting on information about your actions or behaviour then it is their duty to question the person who has provided that information.
- They must treat you the same way whether you are full or part time, permanent staff or fixed term worker.
- While there are some circumstances in which you can be dismissed with immediate effect, in general you must be given notice. This will be the term stipulated in your contract or the statutory minimum, whichever is the longer.
- If you have been in the employ of the company for more than 2 years you are entitled to ask your employer for a written statement giving the reasons for your dismissal. This should not take longer than 14 days from the time your request it.
- If you are dismissed while you are on maternity leave then you should be given a written statement of cause even if you don’t ask for it. This isn’t affected by how long you have worked for the employer.
There are many legitimate reasons for which your employer can seek to dismiss you and it is important that you are aware of the particular circumstances or reasons for your dismissal. Among the things for which you can be dismissed are:
- If you are unable to work with your colleagues
- If you cannot work with the systems, processes or equipment required for your job
- If you are persistently unwell or have a long-term illness that makes it impossible to do your job
- Gross misconduct. If you are deemed to be guilty of gross misconduct you can be summarily dismissed without the usual notice period being given. Gross misconduct can take the form of violence, vandalism, dishonesty and other such circumstances. However, your employer must investigate the case before dismissing you even when gross misconduct is alleged to have taken place.
- If you are unable to do your job through your actions you might be deemed to have a ‘statutory restriction’ placed upon you. Losing your driving license, when your job involves driving for example.
- If the company cannot employ you for whatever reason, in other words they cannot trade, or cannot continue to do that part of their business in which you are employed, they may have a fair reason to dismiss you.
Of course, every case of dismissal is likely to be different, so it is important that you understand your rights, and that you seek appropriate advice from an experienced solicitor or advocate.
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