What Constitutes an Automatic Unfair Dismissal?
Within the Employment Rights Act 1996 and certain other pieces of legislation there are protections in place for employees greater than those afforded by a standard unfair dismissal claim. If an employee is dismissed for one of these reasons laid out in statute and it can be proved that it was the reason or principal reason for dismissal no further inquiry is required and it is deemed unfair.
There is quite an extensive list of what is classed as an automatically unfair dismissal; some of the most important ones are as follows:
- - Reasons connected with pregnancy, childbirth or general maternity/paternity issues
- - Other Discriminatory reasons such as race, age, sex, sexual orientation
- - Health and safety reasons
- - Reasons connected with the Working Time Regulations 1998 (for example breaks between shifts, maximum weekly working time etc)
- - Making a protected disclosure (which is known in the media and general parlance as whistle-blowing)
- - Taking part in protected industrial action (so sanctioned strikes)
For the above reasons there is not a qualifying period. This means that unlike in standard unfair dismissal claims where if you are dismissed after the 6th April 2012 you need to have been employed for 2 years before you can make a claim there is no fixed time for you to be there to be able to make a claim. This means that even if you’ve only been employed for 1 week and you’re dismissed for one of the above reasons then you could potentially make a claim for unfair dismissal.
There are a few automatically unfair reasons for dismissal which still, unfortunately, require the 2 year qualifying period before you can make a claim. These are if you are dismissed:
- - For having a spent conviction
- - Where the sole or principal reason for dismissal is a TUPE transfer
- - By reason of retirement in breach of Schedule 6 to the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006)
So you would need to be there the whole 2 years to make an unfair dismissal claim for those reasons.
If you qualify for one of the above automatically unfair reasons please do not hesitate to contact us on 0800 014 8727 and we will be able to advise you further.