Avoid the Pitfalls of Unfair Dismissal
When you feel you’ve been unfairly dismissed, you have to be clever about it. Knowing your rights and the law is half the battle. Over the last few years, the government has amended legislation to be more corporation, rather than employee, friendly. So, if you want the justice you deserve for being unfairly dismissed, consider the following landmines:
How Long Have You Been An Employee?
As of April 6 2012, you will need to have worked at your current place of employment for more than 2 years, before you can take your employer to the employment tribunal. Before this landmark, you have scant rights, as an employee. Find out how much credence your claim will be given online.
The exception to this rule, however, is if you have been unfairly dismissed during maternity, paternity, or adoption leave. In this case, there is no time limit and your employer must provide you with a written statement containing the reasons for your dismissal.
How Long Have You Been Dismissed For?
It’s always best to act promptly on legal matters. However, if you don’t claim unfair dismissal within 3 months of being fired, you don’t have a case. So get legal advice quickly and set the wheels into motion.
It’s important to spot inconsistencies. For example, were you fired for an offence that your colleague got away with (with just a warning)? If you can prove you’ve been unfairly and illegally singled out, you could have a strong case.
Do You Have Any Evidence?
You don’t have a case if you don’t have proof. For example, if you’re claiming you were bullied by your colleagues and your employer did nothing about it, you need evidence of this taking place, whether that’s through recordings, emails, or letters, keep everything and build yourself up a convincing case.
Have You Made Use Of All Resources?
It’s well worth becoming a member of your trade union. They can become an invaluable representative at disciplinary hearings and can provide you with the legal support you need to make a case of unfair dismissal. You can be sure that your company will have contacted their employment lawyers, so you should do the same. Don’t just go into an unfair dismissal case blind.
How Sure Are You That Your Dismissal Was Unfair?
Usually, you have a case, if you’ve been dismissed for the following reasons:
- You have applied for/are on maternity, paternity, or adoption leave
- You refused to give up your right for rest breaks or you asked for flexible hours
- You joined a trade union
- You whistleblew
- You were forced to go into retirement (unless your employer has a very good reason for this)
- Your pay was docked or you were demoted for no reason and you left the company
- You were forced to do unreasonable shifts that aren’t in your contract and you left the company
- Your employers allowed colleagues to harass or bully you and did nothing about it