Employers can only dismiss an employee if they have a fair reason to do so. They cannot just dismiss you because they feel like it.
There are five main legal reasons for dismissal:
- Conduct – if you have broken the terms of your employment, for example continually being late or go miss work, poor discipline or theft from your employer
- Capability – if you cannot do your job properly, for example you can’t keep up with changes to technology or skill set or qualifications technical or professional
- Redundancy – when job, goes, your employer goes, or your workplace closes.
- Continuing to employ you would break the law – for example if you do not have the right to work in the UK
- Some other substantial reason (SORS) – this applies if your employer has an overwhelming reason to dismiss you, not readily fitting into one of the above categories.
An employee must normally have more than two years continuous service in order to be eligible to bring a claim of unfair dismissal. And the employer has the burden of proving your dismissal was for a fair reason.
Settlement agreements are frequently used to resolve employment disputes, including unfair dismissal.
They normally involve your former employer agreeing to make a financial settlement with you in exchange for your agreement not to pursue an employment tribunal claim and are a way of both parties avoiding the stress, uncertainty and cost of pursuing a claim.
Employers can pre-emptively offer a settlement agreement when dismissing possibly because they have not or do not want to follow the proper procedure.
If you do get offered a settlement agreement, you must take independent legal advice before signing any documents and for the agreement to be legally binding.
Our employment law team regularly negotiate and review settlement agreements for a wide range of clients, and we regularly get the settlement increased in real terms, so you can rest assured any settlement offered by your employer truly reflects your best interests.
For immediate advice, call our employment lawyers and legal team us on 01780 757 589, request a call-back or complete our quick online enquiry form.