Editor's message: An employee has the right not to be unfairly dismissed by his or her employer under the Employment Rights Act 1996 (provided that the qualifying conditions are met).
If a claim for unfair dismissal is brought against your organisation, you will have to show that the reason for the dismissal is one of the potentially fair reasons set out in the Act (capability, conduct, redundancy, breach of a statutory enactment, or some other substantial reason). If you can establish this, the employment tribunal will go on to consider if you acted reasonably in dismissing the employee, taking into account all the circumstances. You will need to show that you investigated the matter, followed a fair procedure and ultimately made a reasonable decision to dismiss.
If a dismissal is found to be unfair, the tribunal can order you to pay compensation to the dismissed employee, or to re-engage or reinstate him or her. Additionally, if a tribunal finds that you haven't followed the Acas code of practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures in a relevant case, it can increase the compensation it orders you to pay by up to 25%.
Ashok Kanani, Employment law editor
Updated to include information on the ECJ decision in Parris v Trinity College Dublin and others, concerning a same-sex partner's entitlement to a survivor's pension.
What were the most significant employment case law decisions in 2016? Stephen Simpson counts down the 10 most important judgments for employers this year.
Updated to reflect that the upper age limit for jury service increased from 70 to 75 on 1 December 2016.
Updated to include the new upper age limit for serving on a jury, effective from 1 December 2016.
Ashok Kanani reviews three noteworthy cases that provide lessons for employers on their disciplinary procedures.
Can a cold, unsympathetic approach to consulting with an employee on his or her potential redundancy ultimately result in an unfair dismissal? That was the quandary for the EAT in Thomas v BNP Paribas Real Estate Advisory and Property Management UK Ltd.
The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has held that an employment tribunal failed to consider whether or not the "perfunctory" and "insensitive" nature of a long-serving employee's redundancy consultation made his dismissal unfair.
Cases on appeal provides news on key case law developments that are expected.
In Bandara v British Broadcasting Corporation, the EAT considered whether or not the tribunal had been entitled to find a final written was manifestly inappropriate, and whether or not the tribunal had addressed this finding correctly when deciding that the dismissal was unfair.
The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has held that where an employee is dismissed for misconduct following an earlier warning that the tribunal has found to be manifestly inappropriate, the tribunal must examine the weight the employer attached to that warning in deciding whether or not the decision to dismiss was within the range of reasonable responses.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to unfair dismissal.