Dismissal: overview

July 28, 2020

Dismissal is when your employer ends your employment – they do not always have to give you notice.

If you’re dismissed, your employer must show they’ve:

  • a valid reason that they can justify
  • acted reasonably in the circumstances

They must also:

  • be consistent – for example, not dismiss you for doing something that they let other employees do
  • have investigated the situation fully before dismissing you – for example, if a complaint was made about you

If you’re a part-time or fixed-term worker, you cannot be treated less favourably than a full-time or permanent employee.

If you’ve lost your job because of coronavirus (COVID-19), your employer might be able to re-employ you and pay 80% of your wages.

Notice period

You must be given at least the notice stated in your contract or the statutory minimum notice period, whichever is longer.

There are some situations where you can be dismissed immediately (gross misconduct) – for example, for violence.

Getting your dismissal in writing

You have the right to ask for a written statement from your employer giving the reasons why you’ve been dismissed if you’re an employee and have completed 2 years’ service (1 year if you started before 6 April 2012).

Your employer must supply the statement within 14 days of you asking for it.

Your employer must give you a written statement if you’re dismissed while you are on Statutory Maternity Leave. You get this:

  • even if you’ve not asked for one
  • regardless of how long you’ve worked for your employer

Speak to your employer or check your employment status if you’re unsure of your employment status.

Source: gov.uk

Last updated: 28 July 2020

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