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Automatically Unfair Dismissal

When Dismissal is Automatically Unfair?

There are certain situations where dismissal is automatically deemed to be unfair. Such situations include:

  • dismissal of a woman for pregnancy or a reason connected with pregnancy or maternity;
  • taking or seeking to take leave for family reasons e.g. statutory paternity leave, adoption leave or shared parental leave;
  • dismissal for reasons connected with independent trade union activities, union membership or non-membership;
  • acting as an employee representative for certain purposes;
  • dismissal for a reason connected with a transfer of an undertaking;
  • dismissal based on a spent criminal conviction;
  • health and safety related dismissals;
  • assertion of statutory rights;
  • dismissal for undertaking jury service;
  • a dismissal connected with 'whistleblowing' by an employee to an employer, legal advisor or authority etc. of a qualifying disclosure (for example to criminal offences, statutory breaches, health and safety risks to an individual and environmental damage that has been deliberately concealed);
  • refusal to comply with a requirement in contravention of the Working Time Regulations 1998;
  • refusal to forego a right under the Working Time Regulations 1998.

Moreover, other detrimental treatment in such circumstances is also unlawful. In general, any dismissal based on discriminatory grounds (e.g. sex, race, disability, age etc.) is highly risky and can be very expensive, particularly because limits to employment tribunal compensation do not apply to discrimination cases.

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