What do I do, I'm on the naughty list?

Published: 26 December 2016

Author: Hayley Crossman-Shaw

Category: Firm News

Dear Noel…….

I work for a well-known employer who makes and distributes toys at Christmas. Last week, I was called in to the office and told that I my employment was to be terminated. I do not know why my employer has chosen to do this; I’m a good worker and have never been put on the naughty list in the office. Where do I stand and what can I do?

Mr. E. L.F. Man – Lapland

Dear Mr E L F Man

Most employees only have the right not to be unfairly dismissed once they have been continuously employed for 2 years. However, there are exceptions. You do not need to have 2 years’ service if the dismissal is related to pregnancy or maternity, although I suspect this is not the case with you.

A claim for Unfair Dismissal must be made to an Employment Tribunal within 3 months of the dismissal.

The law sets out a 2-stage test to decide whether a dismissal is unfair. This is:

- The employer must show that the reason for the dismissal was potentially fair, for example that the dismissal was because of the employee’s capability or conduct; and,

- The Employment Tribunal must then decide whether it was fair to dismiss the employee for that reason.

If the dismissal was not unfair, then the employee will only be entitled to notice or pay in lieu of notice. This is a minimum of 1 week for an employee who has been employed for 1 month and then 1 week for each whole year of service for an employee who has been employed for 2 years up to a maximum of 12 years. However, sometimes your contract of employment can give you better notice rights than these.