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FREE Unfair Dismissal Compensation Advice

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Can I bring an Unfair Dismissal Claim?


To bring an unfair dismissal claim you must have been employed continuously for over 12 months and must not be a sub-contractor or freelance worker. There are, however, exceptions to this rule if you have been dismissed for an automatically unfair reason, e.g. on grounds of discrimination (see below).


You must not be employed as any of the following:

  • Police officer
  • Member of the armed forces
  • Registered dock worker
  • Above the UK retirement age (65)

An automatic unfair dismissal claim, like any other claim for being unfairly dismissed, must be brought before an Employment Tribunal within 3 months of the date of the termination of your contract. If this time limit has passed then you cannot bring a claim.


My employer dismissed me because I am pregnant claiming the company cannot cope with my absence during maternity leave. Is this a fair reason?
Any dismissal for reasons like this is referred to as an ‘automatically unfair dismissal’ which means that your employer has sacked you for exercising your employment rights – which is illegal. An employer cannot sack someone just because they may have to take maternity leave in the future.


The following are some examples of an employee’s general employment rights that, if they are dismissed because they have exercised, will constitute an automatic unfair dismissal:

  • Taking time off for the care of dependants
  • Discrimination on the grounds of race, gender, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, age, religion or disability
  • Time off for public service (such as jury service)
  • Whistle blowing
  • Transfer of Undertakings (protection against dismissal during business mergers)
  • Maternity/Paternity leave
  • Unfair redundancy selection
  • Forced early retirement
  • Part-time or flexible working
  • Trade union membership

In the case of any automatic unfair dismissal, it does not matter how long the employee was employed – as the 12 month continuous employment requirement doesn't apply.


My employer has made me redundant – can I claim unfair dismissal?
An employer can make an employee redundant provided they use a fair selection process and fair procedure. This requires the employer to discuss the reasons for redundancy with an employee, giving the employee adequate notice and where necessary paying out a redundancy package.


There are fixed notice periods that any employer must provide to make an employee redundant.

These vary and are dependant on the employee’s length of service:

  • If the employment was between 1 month and 2 years – 1 week’s notice
  • If employed between 2 and 12 years – a week’s notice for every year of employment
  • If employed for 12 years or more – 12 week’s notice


Contact us today
If you think you may have been the subject of an Automatic Unfair Dismissal, get in touch with our specialist solicitors immediately – as there is a strict time limit for making an unfair dismissal compensation claim.

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Automatic Unfair Dismissal – UK lawyers who specialise in Automatic Unfair Dismissal Compensation
Bonallack & Bishop Solicitors (76483) authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority



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