Unfair dismissal

Employees have a right not to be unfairly dismissed from employment. Before dismissing an employee, employers need to make sure that they have a potentially fair reason.

The five potentially fair reasons for dismissal are: capability or qualifications; conduct; redundancy; where continued employment would contravene the law; and “some other substantial reason”.


The BBFC rates the 1978 classic Halloween as an 18 for its atmosphere of "strong threat" and graphic depictions of killingsMoviestore Collection/REX/Shutterstock.

Tribunal Watch: Teacher’s dismissal for showing 18-rated film to pupils

Tribunal Watch returns with a round-up of recent case law reported in the news. The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) upheld...

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The 10 most important employment law cases in 2016

30 Nov 2016

What were the most significant employment case law decisions in 2016? Stephen Simpson counts down the 10 most important judgments...

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The claimant moved from Jamaica as a child, giving him the "right of abode" (right to live indefinitely) in the UK. Photo: imageBROKER/REX/Shutterstock.

Fair dismissal for failure to produce evidence of right to work in UK

22 Nov 2016

An employment tribunal held that an employee was fairly dismissed after failing to produce evidence of his right to work...

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Dinendra Haria/REX/Shutterstock.

Varying contracts of employment: what are the risks for employers?

10 Nov 2016

Labour MP Siobhain McDonagh has suggested that thousands of M&S staff could lose their jobs in the run up to...

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Hampers and similar food gifts are big business at Christmas. The company in this case generates one third of its total annual turnover in the eight weeks from mid-September onwards. Food and Drink/REX/Shutterstock.

Fair dismissal for refusal to work Christmas overtime

9 Nov 2016

An employment tribunal held that a food company employee was fairly dismissed after she refused to do overtime in the...

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Tax-free Childcare will help more than two million households with the cost of caring for children. Photo: Kavalenkau/Shutterstock

Top 10 HR questions September 2016: Tax-free Childcare

4 Oct 2016

Questions on Tax-free Childcare, the apprenticeship levy and gender pay gap reporting were the most popular FAQs on XpertHR in...

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A former security guard for defence firm Qinetiq claimed that his dismissal following sickness absence should have followed the Acas code. Photo: Equinox Features/REX/Shutterstock.

Ill-health dismissals: Acas disciplinary code not applicable

11 Aug 2016

In DLA Piper’s latest case report, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) confirmed that the Acas code of practice on disciplinary...

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Default retirement age: five key trends since it hung up its boots

8 Aug 2016

It’s now five years since employers saw the abolition of the default retirement age. What impact has the removal of...

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Zika and employees – an unfortunate Olympic challenge

5 Aug 2016

Ed Stacey examines whether employees can be forced to work in Brazil in light of the Zika virus

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Greggs baker fairly dismissed for not washing hands

4 Aug 2016

An employment tribunal has held that Greggs fairly dismissed an experienced baker who did not wash his hands before returning...

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Dirk v. Mallinckrodt / imageBROKER/REX/Shutterstock.

Five important employment law cases in 2016… and five more to come

21 Jul 2016

Your annual summer round-up of the most important employment law cases 2016 has seen so far, and those still to come…

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Theresa May outside the Houses of Parliament after it is announced she will be prime minister. Photo: James Gourley/REX/Shutterstock

Theresa May promises worker representatives on boards

11 Jul 2016

The UK’s next prime minister Theresa May has vowed to put worker representatives on boards of major companies and to...

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disparity of treatment and misconduct

Disparity of treatment: when is it lawful to treat employees differently for the same misconduct?

6 Jul 2016

Employers need to tread carefully in situations where disparity of treatment arises. Natalie Jeffries, an associate from Burges Salmon, looks...

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Dismissed worker argued racist term was “street talk”

9 Jun 2016

An employment tribunal held that an employee was fairly dismissed after using a racist term at work, despite his arguments...

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Religious discrimination: Christian teacher’s dismissal for refusal to divorce sex offender

23 May 2016

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has held that a Christian employee, dismissed for not divorcing her husband when he was...

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