Unfair / Constructive Dismissal

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Blacks Solicitors have one of the largest Employment Law teams in Leeds, and can advise you on all aspects of an unfair or constructive dismissal case.

If you have two years’ continuous service you have the right not to be unfairly dismissed.

In certain circumstances you may have a claim that you were automatically unfairly dismissed (e.g. if your dismissal was related to whistleblowing, health and safety, or childbirth). There is no qualifying period for these claims.

If you can show that your employer did not have a fair reason to dismiss you, or that they did not follow a fair procedure, you may have a claim for compensation in the Employment Tribunal. You may also have a claim for constructive dismissal if, because of your employer’s conduct, you have resigned and treated yourself as dismissed.

There are five potentially fair reasons for dismissing an employee. A dismissal will only be fair if:

  • The employee is incapable or unqualified to do the job in hand (e.g. long-term sickness absence)
  • The employee’s conduct is unsatisfactory
  • The employee is legally prevented from continuing to carry out their job (e.g. a van driver who loses their licence)
  • Redundancy (e.g. due to closure of premises)
  • “Some other substantial reason” (e.g. refusal to agree to a necessary and reasonable change in terms and conditions of employment)

It is not sufficient for an employer simply to demonstrate a potentially fair reason for dismissal. The employer must also act reasonably in all the circumstances in deciding to dismiss the employee.

If the Employment Tribunal decides that you have been unfairly dismissed, it may order your employer to re-employ you and pay arrears of wages, or simply to pay compensation. The sum awarded consists of a Basic Award (calculated in the same manner as a redundancy payment) and a Compensatory Award based on your net loss of earnings.

Since May 2014 an employee wishing to make an Employment Tribunal claim must (with only a few exceptions) make use of the ACAS “Early Conciliation Procedure”. Early Conciliation may lead to a negotiated settlement tracked and documented by ACAS. If Conciliation fails, or the employer elects not to participate in the process, ACAS will issue an Early Conciliation Certificate. The Certificate will contain a unique reference number. An Employment Tribunal claim can’t be issued without citing that number.


If you think you have been unfairly or constructively dismissed and would like to know more about Blacks’ services, or for a free no obligation discussion, please email or call our Employment Law team today on 0113 207 0000.