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What to Do if You Have Been Unfairly Dismissed

Despite there being many laws in place to protect us in the workplace, being dismissed without a process or for reasons that are not acceptable still happens. If you feel like you have been unfairly dismissed by your employer, then you should keep in mind the following:

Length of Service

Consider how long you have been with the employer. Bar a few exceptions, discrimination, whistleblowing or automatic unfair dismissal, the general requirement to allow you protection against unfair dismissal is that you have 2 years’ service with them.  If you don’t have this then you cannot raise an unfair dismissal claim, but you can raise a claim for any loss of wages, unpaid holiday pay or notice pay.

Do you have Evidence?

Try to get access to all the information and documents that could detail the run-up to your dismissal. This means that you might have to grab copies of emails or other messages from an internal system before you leave. If you are unfairly dismissed due to discrimination, then the evidence of why you think this is.

This evidence is key if you decide to take this case to a tribunal. If there is no written evidence that you can acquire, make as many notes you can about the timelines. For example, if things were discussed over a phone call, make a note of the time, date, and duration of the call and attempt to note down as much as you can remember about it.

Time Bar

Remember you only have 3 months from the date of the dismissal to raise a claim. 


If you are even remotely considering raising a claim, then it is important that you contact ACAS either yourself or via a solicitor as soon as possible.  ACAS will attempt to mediate between you and your employer in any potential settlement of your differences which is likely to include a financial payment.

Consider a Tribunal

Taking your case to a tribunal can be a drawn-out lengthy process, which is mentally straining and emotionally draining. When considering whether this is a fight you want to embark on you should be clear that compensation for unfair dismissal on grounds that it was procedurally unfair or that the decision was unreasonable is only awarded if you are financially affected by the dismissal.

If you have found a job immediately after being dismissed your claim will be for a basic award only.  This is because you will have suffered no future loss. If you can seek compensation for future loss, it is capped to a year’s salary or £88,519 (current rate at the time of writing) whichever is lower.  There is no compensation for injury to feelings under this claim.

The only way to receive compensation for injury to feelings is if the dismissal was discriminatorily motivated or due to whistleblowing. This discrimination will be related to any of the protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010 For example, if there was an element of racism in the actions of your employer when they dismissed you, or if you are dismissed because you fell pregnant, you would have a good case for compensation, and these are just two of the scenarios you could face.

There are many nuances in a claim that could impact the way your claim is formed and how your compensation is calculated.  You should seek legal advice as soon as possible to help you understand how this works.

Find a Solicitor

To guide you through making a claim for compensation and preparing to fight your former employers, you will need a reputable solicitor. They will help you to prepare the case, and they will be the ones to defend you as you move forward.

Have you been dismissed unfairly at work? Contact MM Legal today. Our team has years of fighting cases in the field of employment, and we will help you receive closure on this matter.