Types of unfair dismissal
If you are an employer, you may at some point have to dismiss an employee or make them redundant. It is best to always take advice and follow our Code of Practice so that you can avoid lawsuits. Here is some useful information about unfair dismissal and redundancies that every employer in UK should be aware of.
If your new employee’s contract of employment does not specify a notice period, you must give a fair period of notice before dismissing them. Your employee is entitled to at least one week’s notice after serving one month employment in your company. For every extra week they work, the entitlement increases to a maximum of 3 months’ notice after 1 year’s employment.
If you fire your employee without giving them adequate notice, this is referred to as wrongful dismissal. The employee is still entitled to normal pay and benefits during the notice period. However, the exception follows if you sacked your employee for gross misconduct that required immediate dismissal.
In the event you don’t want the employee to leave right away, you will need to make a provision in their contract in order to entitle you to pay them off in lieu. This is to cover any contractual obligations and prevent prejudice.
If you as an employer breach the employment contract in any way, your employee can resign immediately and claim constructive dismissal. For instance, if you reduced their pay without informing them, the employee can make a complaint against you at the Employment Tribunal.
If your employees are made redundant, and they have been working for your company for less than two years, they are not entitled to receive redundancy pay. Any other employee, who has served more than 2 years’ service, will receive their redundancy pay in full as it’s not tax payable.
You can avoid any unfair redundancy claims brought against you by making sure you follow the right code of practice. To do this, you should select the employees that are to be made redundant on a fair and reasonable basis. They must receive adequate notice and advice about a fair appeals procedure.
When stating why you are making your employees redundant, you might want to give one of the following reasons:
- Your job is no longer necessary due to new technology being introduced to the company
- The company is cutting costs by reducing employee numbers
- The position you were hired to do no longer exists
- The business has been taken over by another company
- The company is closing down