Any dismissal of an employee that the employer cannot show to be fair. Under the Employment Rights Act 1996 employees have the right not to be unfairly dismissed, provided they have served the required period of continuous employment (52 weeks for full-time employment) and are not over 65 or the normal retirement age for an employee in that particular job. Dismissal for membership or non-membership of a trade union is always regarded as unfair dismissal, whatever the employee's age or length of service. Employees who consider that they have been unfairly dismissed can apply within three months after the effective date of termination of their employment contract to an employment tribunal for reinstatement, re-engagement, or compensation. The tribunal will make an award unless the employer shows that the principal reason for the dismissal was the employee's incapability, lack of qualifications, or conduct; redundancy; the fact that it would be illegal to continue employing the person; or some other substantial reason. The employer must also show that he acted reasonably in dismissing the employee. The statutory protection does not apply to members of the police and armed forces and certain other employees. Compare wrongful dismissal.
Subjects: Business and Management — Law.