Ask the employment law experts: What is an unfair dismissal?
There are several instances where dismissal could be deemed unfair and they usually fall into the following categories:
Your employer did not have a good reason for dismissing you.
Your employer did not follow the correct procedure when dismissing you and/or acted unreasonably.
You were dismissed for an automatically unfair reason, e.g. maternity leave.
What is constructive dismissal – forced resignation law?
Constructive dismissal is another form of unfair dismissal whereby the employee feels compelled to resign from their job due to their employer’s behaviour.
Generally, the actions of the employer must amount to a fundamental breach of contract and can include any number of violations under employee termination laws. Examples include:
Breaching laws against harassment in the workplace – harassing, humiliating or victimising particular members of staff
altering the employee’s job specification or contract terms without consultation
Violating employee relocation laws by changing the job location at short notice
excessive disciplinary actions such as demotion
falsely accusing an employee of misconduct
Employment law advice: Can I claim for unfair dismissal?
To be entitled to make an unfair dismissal claim and eventually go to an Employment Relations Authority, there are certain conditions that must apply to your employment circumstances and the manner in which you were dismissed. 0800 Dismissed can provide you with up-to-date employment law advice. Our team of legal advocates are ready to help evaluate your circumstances and work with you to provide employment law legal advice and to formulate a case.
Does your status as an employee entitle you to unfair dismissal rights?
An employee is a person who works under a contract of employment for his/her employer, whether this is a written or oral contract. Such a contract will usually involve (amongst other things) the employer paying the employee regular wages, giving the employee specific tasks to do, and providing them with the necessary tools and equipment for their job. A person who is self-employed (as a contractor for example), cannot claim for unfair dismissal.
If you have an employment law grievance and think you can answer YES to the above question, dial 0800 Dismissed. Alternatively, click the link to contact us.
Have you been dismissed?
Generally it is pretty clear whether or not you have been dismissed from your job, but there are occasions where an employee may have chosen to leave but the Employment Relations Authority will still accept that they have been dismissed. This is called a constructive dismissal. For those ambiguous cases, it can be of great benefit to have employment law experts by your side. To establish that you have been constructively dismissed, the employee needs to show that they left as a result of a “fundamental breach” of their contract by their employer. Some examples of such a scenario may be where an employer refuses to pay wages or asks an employee to do something which is illegal.
If you think you can answer YES to this question, you should proceed – Contact us.
Are you in an excluded category or out of time?
You must bring your claim within 90 days of the date of your dismissal. This is an absolute time limit and applications outside the 90 day limit are rarely accepted. You must therefore raise your personal grievance or submit your application to the Employment Relations Authority within the time limit, even if you are still going through your company’s complaints procedure.
The 90 day limit starts upon termination of employment.
If you think you can answer NO to this question, you should proceed – Contact us.
Was your dismissal fair? – Phone 0800 Dismissed for employment law advice.
If you have got this far then the penultimate question is “Was your dismissal for a fair reason?” If it was not then you may have a claim for unfair dismissal. It is up to the employer to show that the reason for your dismissal was at least potentially fair.
The legislation lists a series of categories of reasons for dismissal which are either automatically unfair, or potentially fair.