Disciplinary & dismissal

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If you’re in 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 you can’t work an extra shift because you’ve got an assignment to finish, it doesn't mean you should be punished for it.

 

Your employer must follow the law

No matter what’s happened, if your manager wants to discipline or dismiss you they should 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 isn’t good enough.

Depending on how long you’ve worked for a company, you’ll get certain protections under the law. In most cases you need 2 years’ continuous employment to bring a claim for unfair dismissal (assuming you’ve been sacked or felt you had no option but to resign). But there are some circumstances when you are protected regardless of how long you’ve been working, e.g. if you’ve been sacked for questioning why your pay this week is short, or for alleging certain rights you may have have been infringed.

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, or any detriment you’ve suffered, to issue a claim. And before you issue a claim, you need to go through the Acas early conciliation process.

 

How Which? Legal can help

If your employer raises a concern or issue with you, 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.

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 you may have been treated unfairly because you work part-time. We’ll:

  • talk to you about what’s happened
  • advise you on your rights
  • explain your options

 

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Meet your experts
Brendan Donohue Sq Brendan Donohue Brendan joined Which? in 2018 and is a member of the Employment Lawyers Association. See profile
Duncan Snook Sq Duncan Snook Duncan joined Which? as an employment law specialist in May 2018. He has over 10 years of experience as an employment solicitor in private practice. See profile
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