Does an employer have to give a written statement of reasons for dismissal?

All employees with at least two years' continuous service are entitled to written reasons for their dismissal on request. Where dismissal is with notice, the employee can request the statement before the contract comes to an end. Otherwise the request should be made within three months of the effective date of termination, which is the time limit for bringing a claim for unfair dismissal to an employment tribunal. The employer must provide the statement within 14 days of the request.

If an employee is dismissed at any time while they are pregnant or after childbirth in circumstances in which their maternity leave period ends by reason of their dismissal, or if an employee on adoption leave is dismissed in circumstances in which the adoption leave period ends by reason of the dismissal, under the Employment Rights Act 1996 the employee is entitled to a written statement of reasons for the dismissal irrespective of length of service and without having to make a request.