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Email: enquiries@horizonsolicitors.co.uk

Have you been unfairly dismissed or contemplating resignation and constructive dismissal, Horizon solicitors can help you at each stage of the process through investigation, disciplinary hearing, appeal and Employment Tribunal.

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Dismissal & Resignation
The right not to be unfairly dismissed is the most commonly relied upon right by employees who have or are departing company with their employer. Employers must have both a valid lawful fair reason for the dismissal and have followed a fair procedure in carrying out your dismissal. Constructive unfair dismissal carries the same eligibility requirements, but this happens where you resign in relation to a fundamental breach of contract by your employer, and allege or bring a claim where your position has become untenable, but the distinction is that you “jump” before you are “pushed”.

Horizon Solicitors are uniquely placed to support you at every stage of the process as we see cases from both sides and we also provide human resources support, so we understand the mix of emotions entwined with your situation.

It is important to note that the right to claim unfair dismissal or constructive unfair dismissal, only kicks in after 1 year and 51 weeks’ continuous service (slightly less than 2 years’ service as you can deduct the statutory 1 week’s notice), unless the dismissal was for one of the exceptional reasons (which apply from day 1):-

    • the dismissal is discriminatory due to one of the protected characteristics of age, disability, gender reassignment, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation. In particular, if you are dismissed for ill-health absence, we should consider whether there is any underlying disability related reason;
    • you were dismissed for “blowing the whistle” otherwise known as making a protected disclosure, where you believed one of the following examples of malpractice have or are likely to take place:-
    • criminal offences
    • breach of any legal obligation
    • miscarriages of justice
    • danger to the health and safety of any individual
    • damage to the environment
    • the deliberate concealing of information about any of the above;
    • you were dismissed for a health and safety reason;
    • you were dismissed for asserting a relevant statutory right, including (but not limited to) asserting rights under the Working Time Regulations (such as the right to statutory holiday or rest breaks), the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006, the National Living Wage or National Minimum Wage, making a flexible working application or asserting that an unlawful deduction from pay has been made;
    • you were dismissed for being a trade union representative or for taking part in trade union activities;
    • o you were dismissed in breach of a contractual disciplinary or redundancy policy (note most policies are non-contractual, but if it is contractual then you do not require any length of service to bring a breach of contract claim).

In the absence of the requisite qualifying service or one of the exceptional reasons for dismissal, unfortunately you have no cause of redress against your employer, unless you have a separate claim, for example for unlawful deductions, outstanding holiday or notice pay. Call us and we can explore this further with you.

When contemplating a claim for constructive dismissal, we will get to the root of the issue and as we have the benefit of an employers’ and a human resources perspective, we will help you understand the reasons for your employer’s behaviour and the best tactics for dealing with the issues you are facing to achieve the best solution for you – whether that is in attempting to restore the working relationship, buying you more time to look for alternative employment, or getting you out asap ! It is therefore important to keep a diary of events and speak to us as soon as possible.

If your employer wants to have a “protected conversation” with you or to talk to you “without prejudice” this will most likely mean that they are considering offering you a severance package. To prevent you from taking legal action they must enter into a settlement agreement (formerly know as compromise agreement) with you which is a binding contract setting out all of the terms on which your employment will end. This must be signed by a solicitor to be enforceable, and your employer will contribute to all or part of your legal fees. Drop us a line and we will ensure that the deal offered covers your lawful entitlements.

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