Pump Court Chambers

Whilst it is frustrating for an employee to be dismissed, there are some scenarios which are fair reasons for dismissal. These include capability, conduct, redundancy, breach of statute or some other substantial reason. If you are unsure whether your dismissal falls under any of these categories, then you should seek legal advice.

In order to bring a claim for unfair dismissal, you must have:

  • Have brought the claim within 3 months of the date of the dismissal
  • Two years’ continuous service. (The exception to this rule is where you believe you’re being discriminated against on the grounds of age, disability, gender, marriage, pregnancy/ maternity, race, religion, sexual orientation or you’ve been selected for being a whistleblower).

In order for us to best assist you with your claim we ask if you could attach a copy of your contract of employment and any correspondence relating to your dispute.

Work is either carried out on a fixed fee (which means that we will charge you a set amount of money for each piece of work we undertake) or on an hourly rate basis. All fees exclude VAT (where applicable).

Speak to a member of our employment team:

Call 07880 840164

Contact our Employment Law Team

For further information about our employment barristers, please contact Dean Cunniff on +44(0)7880 840164, email, or use the contact form below.

  • Drop files here or
    In order for us to best assist you with your claim we ask if you could attach a copy of your contract of employment and any correspondence relation to your dispute.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

What is a dismissal?

A dismissal is either the termination by the employer of the contract of employment, the expiry of a limited term / fixed term contract or constructive dismissal.

What is the time period in which the employee must bring their claim?

Claims for unfair dismissal must undergo Early Conciliation with ACAS within 3 months of the date of the dismissal. If an employee is dismissed on 3 September 2020, they must register their claim with ACAS on or before 2 December 2020. The conciliation period then extends the limitation period (time which a claim has to be brought) to the Employment Tribunal, either by adding the number of days spent in conciliation to the limitation date or by adding a month to the end of the limitation date. This is technical and not always easy to calculate. We strongly recommend that you take legal advice as to the time limits that apply in your case as the consequence of missing the deadline without a good reason may be that the claim is rejected and is out of time. Respondents should always check whether the claim has been properly brought and within time.

How to start or defend an unfair dismissal claim?

Once you have met the requirements above, you must then consider how to claim for unfair dismissal. Before, taking your claim to the employment tribunals, you must comply with the given time-period of bringing your claim within three months of the date of effective termination, as per section 111 (2)(a) of the Employment Rights Act 1996. Before instituting proceedings, you must contact ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) under section 1(a) of the Employment Tribunals (Early Conciliation: Exemptions and Rules of Procedure) Regulations 2014 to inform them of your dismissal. If no settlement is reached, the employee must then issue an ET1 form to the employment tribunal within the time limit as extended by Early Conciliation. The employer has to respond to your claim in writing within 28 days of receiving the claim form by completing an ET3. If your claim is complex or involves whistleblowing or discrimination, it is advisable to have your “Grounds of Complaint” if you are the employee or “Grounds of Resistance” if you are the employer drafted professionally by a Barrister or Solicitor.

What is the timescale?

Timescales for your case may vary depending on factors such as barristers’ availability, the complexity of your case, the need for additional documents and the other side’s approach. However, as a guide more straightforward cases tend to have a hearing date within four to six months of a claim being made. More complex cases may take a year or more to resolve. We are used to dealing with instructions quickly and adhering to Tribunal timetables.

What will it cost?

Please find pricing and fee information here.

Contact our Employment Law Team

For further information about our employment barristers, please contact Dean Cunniff on +44(0)7880 840164, email, or use the contact form below.

  • Drop files here or
    In order for us to best assist you with your claim we ask if you could attach a copy of your contract of employment and any correspondence relation to your dispute.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
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