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 details of the increase in the limits on employment tribunal awards, effective from 6 April 2017.
Updated to include information on draft Regulations that require prescribed persons to report on workers' disclosures, due in force from 1 April 2017.
Chris Cook is a partner and Keely Rushmore is a senior associate at SA Law. They round up the latest rulings.
The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has held that the dismissal of an employee for physical violence was unfair because the employer failed to have regard to all the surrounding circumstances and the employee's exemplary disciplinary record over 42 years' service.
This tribunal decision concerns a long-serving employee who was dismissed for making derogatory comments about his colleagues and his employer that he had posted on Twitter up to three years previously.
The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has held that the dismissal of a teacher for showing an 18-rated film to a class of vulnerable 15- and 16-year-olds amounted to unfavourable treatment arising from his disability and was not justified.
Cases on appeal provides news on key case law developments that are expected.
In Khan v Stripestar Ltd EAT/0022/15, the EAT held that an employment tribunal was entitled to find that a dismissal was fair despite a wholly defective and unfair initial disciplinary hearing, because the subsequent internal appeal cured the defects earlier in the process.
Updated to include references to the Government's announcement of a review of auto-enrolment and proposed auto-enrolment earnings thresholds for 2017/18.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to unfair dismissal.