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Unfair dismissal

Updating author: Max Winthrop


  • An employee must meet certain conditions to bring a claim for unfair dismissal. (See Qualifying conditions)
  • If a claim for unfair dismissal is brought, the employer must show that the reason for the dismissal is potentially fair and the employment tribunal will decide whether or not the dismissal was fair in all the circumstances. (See Reasons for dismissal and Fairness in the circumstances)
  • If the dismissal is found to be unfair, the tribunal will order the employer either to re-engage or reinstate the employee or, more commonly, to pay compensation. (See Remedies)
  • An employment tribunal may increase or decrease awards of compensation by up to 25% in the event of an unreasonable failure to comply with the "Acas code of practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures". (See Overview)
  • Employers that compulsorily retire employees, or attempt to pressurise employees to retire, are at risk of direct age discrimination and unfair dismissal claims. (See Retirement)