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Advising on unfair redundancy, dismissal and discrimination claims

If you believe this has happened to you and you have evidence to back it up (in the form of emails or other documentation) then the following details will help you decide if you have a claim against you employer?

First step

Generally, an employee needs to be continuously employed for two years before they are eligible to present a claim for unfair dismissal, although there are notable exceptions, for example:

  • If the employee is dismissed in circumstances, where they would qualify for paid suspension on medical grounds, the qualifying period of only one month;
  • Where the dismissal is deemed to be automatically unfair the qualifying period does not apply at all;
    • Pregnancy or childbirth;
    • Dismissals for health and safety reasons;
    • Dismissals for a reason connected with rights under the Working Time Regulations;
    • Dismissals relating to whistleblowing activities where a protected disclosure is made;
    • Asserting a statutory right in respect of certain rights under the Employment Rights Act 1996;
    • Dismissals relating to flexible working requests;
    • Dismissals in respect of non-payment of the National Minimum Wage;
    • Dismissals in respect of jury service

Types of Discrimination It is unlawful to discriminate against an employee on the basis of their protected characteristics. The protected characteristics are as follows:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender reassignment
  • Marriage and civil partnership
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Race discrimination
  • Sex discrimination
  • Religion or belief
  • Sexual orientation

Discrimination can be direct where it occurs on the basis of the protected characteristic or it can be indirect where acts, decisions or policies, which are intended to treat anyone less favourably has the effect of disadvantaging a group of people with that particular protected characteristic. Whilst direct discrimination (except for age) can never be objectively justified; indirect discrimination can be in certain circumstances.

Time limits Discrimination claims must be presented within 3 months of the act complained of. Unfair dismissal claims must be presented within 3 months of what is known as the effective date of termination. Where notice is given the time limit runs from the expiry of the notice.

Next Steps If you think you have a claim against your employer then for more specific advice or to arrange a fixed fee appointment please contact us.

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