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Unfair Dismissal

Unfair dismissal is the first heading I would like to discuss with you. In order to have a claim for unfair dismissal, you must have one year’s service. One year’s service means that you have completed a year’s service from your effective date of termination and you need this to claim Unfair Dismissal.

As from April 6th 2012 you will need two years service to be able to claim for unfair dismissal. It is not retrospective so the new two year rule only applies for anyone starting employment from April 6th 2012 onwards. If you started employment before April 6th 2012, then the previous one year rule still applies to you. The government tells us that this rule change has been brought in to encourage employers to hire more people as it will be easier for them to get rid of staff in the future!

Unfair Dismissal - Effective Date of termination -
What does this mean?

  • The effective date of termination means the date that your employment ended.
  • If you are dismissed for gross misconduct, your date of termination is the date that you actually receive notification of your dismissal whether verbally or in writing.
  • If however you are dismissed with notice, then it is the date on which the notice expires. If you are dismissed with notice and they pay you in lieu of notice, in other words, they pay you for your full period of notice and do not require you to work it or continue to be employed, then your effective date of termination is the date that you are told that you are no longer required to work and that you are being paid in lieu of notice.

Remember at the beginning I said I would try not to make this too complicated, so I will summarise where we are up to.

For Unfair Dismissal you need one year’s service, you must complete a full year of employment at 365 days. Those days can include notice provided you are not paid in lieu of notice or that you are not dismissed for gross misconduct. If you fail to get a year’s service, then you do not have a claim for unfair dismissal although you may have other claims.

Since 2004, when we founded this site we have helped thousands of people with Unfair Dismissal issues. If you do nothing about your Unfair Dismissal problems then things can only end in your employers favour - probably not what you want. With the experience of thousands of cases of Unfair Dismissal we can help you fight your case and get a good result. To help you, we need to know what is happening to you so that we can help - It will take you a couple of minutes to complete the Claim Evaluator form that will enable us to help you.

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Employment Law: A Simple Guide Book to your Rights

You must be employed to have a claim for Unfair Dismissal

If you are not employed, then you do not have a claim for unfair dismissal. This sounds simple and straightforward. Most people know when they are employed or when they are not employed but not always. For example, those in the building industry will know that there is a Self-employment Certificate Labour under an SC60 process.

There are also circumstances where you enter into a verbal contract with someone where it is not clear whether you are employed or not. In order to determine whether you are an employee or not, we will ask you to complete a questionnaire based on the case which is a leading case of establishing employment called Ready Mix Concrete. If you have any doubts about whether you are employed or not, please go to “Are you an Employee?

Say you are an employee and you have more than a year’s service. In this case, the employer can only dismiss you on one of five grounds which we will go through in detail.

The grounds are:

  1. Redundancy
  2. Legal prohibition
  3. Some other substantial reason
  4. Capability
  5. Conduct

An employee has statutory employment rights and if these are breached then it would usually be seen as unfair dismissal. Your statutory employment rights include:

  • A defined minimum notice period.
  • An itemised pay statement so that you can clearly see the detail.
  • Paternity, maternity and adoption leave and time off work for antenatal care.
  • Time off work for dependants.
  • Time off for public duties such as Jury service.
  • Unlawful deductions from your pay.
  • Whistle blowing.
  • No discrimination because of age, sexual orientation, gender, race, disability, religion or belief.
  • Pregnancy. You cannot be dismissed fairly just because you are pregnant.
  • Grievance and Disciplinary hearings. You have the right to be accompanied to such hearings by a Trade Union representative or a work colleague and if dismissed for trying to exercise this right then it will be deemed unfair dismissal.
  • Trade Union Membership.

If you are facing redundancy visit our redundancy pages.

If you are being unfairly Dismissed, visit our Unfair Dismissal pages.

If you are being disrciminated against due to race, visit our Race Discrimination pages.

If you are considering going to an Employment Tribunal then see our Employment Tribunal pages

If you are facing Constructive Dismissal, visit our Constructive Dismissal pages.

If you are losing your job due to Misconduct or Gross Misconduct, visit our Misconduct or Gross Misconduct pages.

If you are losing your job due to Capability then visit our Capability pages

If you think you may be suffering from disability discrimination then visit our disability discrimination pages

If you are being asked to sign a Compromise Agreement, then visit our Compromise Agreement pages.

If you are being put on Garden Leave then please see our Garden Leave pages

Unfair Dismissal is the most common type of case brought before the Employment Tribunerals. Over the last 10 years 40,000 to 50,000 Unfair Dismissal cases are accepted into the court each year.



The site author/owner has endeavoured to give clear information to benefit the reader. The information is no substitute for obtaining specific advice about any claim you may have from a person qualified to give it. The examples, and circumstances described etc bear no relation to any actual case and any resemblance to real circumstances is purely accidental and unintentional. The site author/owner accepts no liability for any mistake, error or inconsistency in the text and the reader should ALWAYS OBTAIN specific advice about his/her own situation. In order to assist the reader, you can give your details so that a qualified advisor can call you free of charge and assist you further via CLAIM EVALUATOR