Unfair dismissal

From ArticleWorld

Unfair dismissal is when an employer terminates an employee's work contract without a valid reason. There are usually provisions in place to avoid this type of dismissal, be they in the employee's contract or according to employment laws. Unfair dismissal due to some form of discrimation opens the doors to legal action against the employer. Termination of employment by the employee due to an action by the employer that is in breach of the contract is termed constructive dismissal. There is recourse for employees that believe they have been unfairly dismissed. These include employment tribunals and trade union support.

Valid reasons for dismissal

Some reasons where an employer is well within his rights to dismiss an employee include:

  • When the employee's conduct is in question.
  • Due to redundancy.
  • If the employee's work is not up to standard.
  • If there is a restriction prohibiting continued employment.
  • In extreme cases where the employee has been implicated in theft, gross misconduct and insubordination.

Unfair dismissal considerations

Dismissal may be challenged as unfair especially if it involves discrimination. Challenges may be made for unfair dismissal on the grounds that the action was harsh and unreasonable or that it was illegal. Dismissal that is considered illegal is usually due to discrimation. Discrimination may be related to race, religion, sex and other affliations such as trade union memberships.

In determining whether dismissal is justified or unfair, it is important to consider several factors. These include:

  • An assessment of the employee's conduct.
  • An assessment of if termination is due to the requirements of the employer's undertaking, e.g. redundancy.
  • If notification was given to the employee and if they were given opportunity to respond to claims.
  • In cases where termination is related to performance on the job, if the employee had been cautioned on the quality of work being produced.