Automatically Unfair Dismissals

Site updated on February 17, 2020

You should note that there is no service requirement for dismissals for the following reasons.


  • Trade union membership or activity as a union member or union representative. Action against you for not joining a union. This covers all forms of representation; Health and Safety; Pension Scheme; Works Council; Redundancy consultation exercise; business transfers.
  • A dismissal connected with being a member of the Reserved Forces.
  • Engaging in Health and Safety activity or raising a genuine safety concern where you felt you were in imminent danger.
  • For asserting one of your statutory rights, for example requesting the National Minimum Wage; requesting a Statement of your Employment Terms; requesting a family friendly right; asking for time off to carry out a Public Duty or having an unfair deduction made from your wages.
  • For dismissal connected with any form of discrimination covered by the Equality Act, including an Equal Pay complaint. This includes any dismissal connected with pregnancy. There is no limit to the level of compensation that can be awarded for discrimination.
  • A dismissal connected to your Political beliefs or other genuine philosophical belief , such as atheism.
  • For breach of contract dismissals (“wrongful dismissals”) where your employer is in breach of your Employment Contract in the manner of your dismissal eg. not enough notice pay or holiday pay. Tribunals can only deal with claims up to £25000. If your claim could be for more than this you can use The County Court or High Court.
  • For taking any action regarding the payment or non-payment of the minimum wage.
  • For taking action under the Working Time Regulations or complaining about your working hours, breaks or holiday pay.
  • For raising an issue deemed to be in the public interest (“Whistleblowing” Act). Dismissals in this category have no limit on the compensation level that can be awarded by Tribunal.
  • For any pregnancy or maternity related issue.
  • A dismissal for taking part in official strike action organised by a recognised trade union (a protected period of the first 12 weeks of the strike). There is no protection if you take part in unofficial action.
  • A dismissal connected with your acting a Pension Scheme representative with your Employer.
  • You are dismissed for refusing to work on a Sunday, and you are a protected shop worker.
  • You are dismissed for taking some reasonable time off to deal with an emergency situation involving a dependent of yours.
  • A dismissal for asking if you can work part-time.
  • An instant dismissal, where you have not been offered a representative or an opportunity to defend yourself in a hearing.
  • This list is comprehensive but not exhaustive.

If you think you have been dismissed for any of the above reasons call our advice line for assistance

Interim Relief (temporary help pending the full hearing)

Interim relief is a special remedy in the Employment Tribunal that applies to only a few claims of unfair dismissal. A court can decide, before a full tribunal hearing is held, that you have a reasonable chance of success. If so they can order your employer to re-instate you or your contract of employment until such time as the full decision of the tribunal is reached

The claims where it applies are dismissals of an employee:

  • designated to carry out health and safety activities for carrying out, or proposing to carry out, such activities;
  • who is a representative or a member of a health and safety committee for carrying out their duties;
  • acting as a representative for a workforce agreement under the Working Time Regulations;
  • acting as a trustee of an occupational pension scheme
  • who is an elected employee representative for consultations on redundancy or transfer of a business or canndidate for such election
  • who has made a protected disclosure ( see section on whistleblowing)
  • exercising rights of being accompanied to a grievance or disciplinary hearing
  • who is engaged in union activity as set out in the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992
  • who has been ‘blacklisted’ for union activity

If you think you have been dismissed for any of the above reasons call our advice line for assistance

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