Disciplinary & dismissal

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If you’ve got into trouble at work

It’s not fair to be accused of something you haven’t done. If the till is short on cash, it doesn’t mean you stole the money. And if an email you’ve sent has been misrepresented or blown out of proportion, it doesn't mean you should be punished for it. 

If you have more than 2 years of continuous service with your employer then you have the right to pursue a claim for unfair dismissal. And in some circumstances, you’ll get protection under the law regardless of how long you’ve been working.

Your employer must follow the law

No matter what’s happened, if your manager wants to discipline or dismiss you they must follow a process. This applies even if you’re being accused of doing something wrong, if you're sick, or if you’re being told that your performance at work isn’t good enough.

Depending on how long you’ve worked for a company, you’ll get certain protections under the law. These might mean you can make a claim for unfair dismissal. But the deadline to issue a claim in the Employment Tribunal is tight. Usually, you only have three months less one day from the date your employment ended to issue a claim. And before you issue a claim, you need to go through the Acas early conciliation process. 

How we can help

If you’re being disciplined, we can advise on what your employer should be doing and if they’re following a fair process. We’ll help you identify ways to defend yourself and challenge your employer – like by raising a grievance if it’s appropriate. 

When it comes to being dismissed, we’ll consider your circumstances and help you identify potential claims you may have. For example, you might have been discriminated against because of your age or gender. We’ll:

  • talk to you about what’s happened
  • explain your rights
  • advise you on your options
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Meet your experts
Duncan Snook Sq Duncan Snook Duncan joined Which? Legal as an employment law specialist in May 2018. He has over 10 years of experience as an employment solicitor in private practice.
Brendan Donohue Sq Brendan Donohue Brendan joined Which? in 2018 and is a member of the Employment Lawyers Association. He has over 20 years of experience advising on all aspects of employment law.
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