If you have been unfairly dismissed by your employer, you need to take action now. Read on for more information.
It can take some time for you and your family to come to terms with the shock of an unfair dismissal. Unfortunately, time limits for appeals, ACAS Early Conciliation and Employment Tribunal claims are unforgiving and come around quickly. Therefore, you need to take action.
The detail of your unfair dismissal and the background to any Employment Tribunal claim will depend upon your personal circumstances. However, most unfair dismissal claims will follow a process with potential consequences if that process and time limits are not followed. I briefly set out below the steps you would be expected to take if you have been unfairly dismissed by your employer:-
1 – Appeal Against Dismissal
You should receive written notification from your employer explaining the reasons for your dismissal. That notification should also explain how you can appeal and your time limit to do so.
Ideally, you will be able to send your grounds of appeal clearly setting out why you believe your dismissal was unfair within the time limits prescribed by your employer. If you don’t feel able to send your full appeal immediately, it should be sufficient for you to write to your employer simply stating that you want to appeal and then indicate when you will be able to send further information.
Even if you miss the appeal deadline set by your employer or if you don’t have a letter from them explaining your dismissal, you should still send an appeal. They may refuse to accept it, but they must be reasonable in their decision. Also, if you do pursue an unfair dismissal claim you can show the Employment Tribunal that you attempted to appeal your dismissal which will be relevant when any compensation is considered.
If you are offered an appeal meeting, it is better if you can attend. You have the right to take a Trade Union Representative or colleague with you. Ask your employer to record the meeting to avoid any dispute over what was and was not said.
2 – ACAS Early Conciliation
ACAS Early Conciliation is a compulsory process which every potential Employment Tribunal claimant must go through. Essentially, you submit your complaint on line and an ACAS Conciliator is appointed to act as a liaison between you and your employer. The idea of early conciliation is to see if a negotiated settlement of your dispute is possible. If it is, all to the good. If it isn’t, then you will be given an ACAS Early Conciliation Certificate with a number you will need to quote for you unfair dismissal Employment Tribunal.
You have three months from the date of your dismissal to begin the ACAS Early Conciliation Process. If you do not start the process within the time limit, you will be prevented from starting an unfair dismissal claim at the Employment Tribunal.
Please note, the relevant date is the date of your dismissal (your last day of employment) NOT the date your appeal was dealt with. It may take some time to conclude your appeal (especially in public sector organisations) so you need to be aware of when the time limit for your claim starts to run.
3 – Employment Tribunal Claim
The deadlines for submitting your Employment Tribunal claim will depend upon the time taken in ACAS Early Conciliation. However, you will have at least a month from the date of your certificate to submit your unfair dismissal claim. Whilst a month seems like a long time, it can go very quickly and if your claim is not submitted within the deadline, it will be lost.
Let Lincs Law Employment Solicitors Help You
If you have been unfairly dismissed and need help, call for a free, no obligation, consultation on 01522 440512. Alternatively, for more information about unfair dismissal, please visit our website at https://lincslaw.co.uk/services/employees/resignation-dismissal-and-redundancy/unfair-dismissal/
Sally Hubbard, Specialist Employment Law Solicitor
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