Switch to mobile site

Effective Working Relationships

Exam revision materials for Plumbing Level 2&3 and ACS Gas Safety test

Create an Article



Unfair and constructive dismissal

Unfair dismissal - your employer doesn’t have a good reason for dismissing you

  • dismissal is likely to be unfair include if you:
    • asked for flexible working
    • refused to give up your working time rights - eg to take rest breaks
    • resigned and gave the correct notice period
    • joined a trade union
    • took part in legal industrial action that lasted 12 weeks or less
    • needed time off for jury service
    • applied for maternity, paternity and adoption leave
    • were on any maternity, paternity and adoption leave you’re entitled to
    • tried to enforce your right to receive Working Tax Credits
    • exposed wrongdoing in the workplace (whistleblowing)
    • were forced to retire (known as ‘compulsory retirement’)

Constructive dismissal - when you’re forced to leave your job against your will because of your employer’s conduct.

  • The reasons you leave your job must be serious, for example, they:
    • don’t pay you or suddenly demote you for no reason
    • force you to accept unreasonable changes to how you work - eg tell you to work night shifts when your contract is only for day work
    • let other employees harass or bully you
< Go Back2013-06-20

What to do if you're dismissed

  • you can get help from a third party to solve the issue by mediation, conciliation and arbitration.
  • you can speak to your union representative
  • you can normally go to an employment tribunal.
  • Qualifying period to claim unfair dismissal - you must have worked for your employer for a minimum period before you qualify for the right to claim unfair dismissal at a tribunal:
    • if you start work on or after 6 April 2012 - the qualifying period is normally 2 years
    • before 6 April 2012 - the qualifying period is normally one year
  • In unfair dismissal claims you must make the claim to a tribunal within 3 months of being dismissed.
< Go Back2013-06-20


  • Dismissal is when your employer ends your employment - they don’t always have to give you notice.
  • Your employer must show they have:
    • a valid reason that they can justify
    • be consistent - eg not dismiss you for doing something that they let other employees do
    • have investigated the situation fully before dismissing you - eg if a complaint was made about you
  • If you’re a part-time or fixed-term worker, you can’t be treated less favourably than a full-time or permanent employee
  • Notice period:
    • You must be given at least the notice stated in your contract or the statutory minimum notice period, whichever is longer.
    • There are some situations where you can be dismissed immediately - eg for violence.
  • Written statement:
    • You have the right to ask for a written statement from your employer if you are:
      • an employee and have completed one year’s service
      • employed under a fixed-term contract which has ended and not been renewed
    • Your employer must supply the statement within 14 days of you asking for it


< Go Back2013-06-19

Reasons you can be dismissed

  • Not being able to do your job properly
    • if you haven’t been able to keep up with important changes to your job
    • if you can’t get along with your colleagues
    • employer should give you a chance to improve - eg by training you
    • employer should warn you that your work isn’t satisfactory
  • Illness - you can be dismissed if you have a persistent or long-term illness that makes it impossible for you to do your job.
  • Redundancy is a form of dismissal and is fair in most cases.
  • Summary dismissal - you can be dismissed for ‘gross misconduct’ without your employer going through the normal disciplinary procedures.
    • if you are violent towards a colleague, customer or property
    • your emploer should always investigate the case
  • A ‘statutory restriction’ - if you’re a driver in a lorry firm and you lose your driving licence.
  • It’s impossible to carry on employing you -  if a factory burns down and it’s no longer possible to employ anyone.
  • A ‘substantial reason’ - you unreasonably refuse to accept a company reorganisation that changes your employment terms
< Go Back2013-06-19