Unfair Dismissal Handbook

Practice area: Employment law
ISBN: 9781847039897
Published by IDS, August 2010

Available formats
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The IDS Employment Law Unfair Dismissal Handbook provides a clear and accurate statement of the law on unfair dismissal.

  • Covers the legal definition of “dismissal” and deals with the various exclusions from the right to claim that exist
  • Explains the potentially fair reasons for dismissal, e.g. conduct, capability and “some other substantial reason”
  • Tackles the central issue of unfairness in the statutory definition
  • Sets out the grounds for automatically unfair dismissals and discusses the special rules that apply to such dismissals
  • Investigates the remedies available in unfair dismissal cases
  • Looks at the right of employees to receive a written statement of the reasons for dismissal


  • Express dismissal
  • Non-renewal of limited-term contracts
  • Constructive dismissal
  • Non-dismissals

Exclusions from right to claim

  • Employees only
  • Continuous service threshold
  • Illegality
  • Diplomatic and state immunity
  • Working abroad
  • Special categories of worker
  • Settlements and contracting out
  • Time limits


  • Reason for dismissal
  • Reasonableness of dismissal
  • Fairness of internal procedure
  • Automatically fair and unfair dismissals

Capability and qualifications

  • Definitions
  • Establishing lack of capability
  • Reasonableness
  • Procedural factors

Sickness and disability

  • Long-term sickness
  • Persistent short-term absences
  • Alternative employment
  • Other relevant factors
  • Particular types of sickness or disability
  • Miscellaneous considerations


  • Absenteeism and lateness
  • Abusive language
  • Disloyalty
  • Disobedience
  • Drinking, drugs and smoking
  • Employee’s attitude
  • Personal appearance
  • Sleeping on duty
  • Theft and dishonesty
  • Criminal offences outside of employment
  • Unauthorised use of computers
  • Violence and fighting
  • Disciplinary proceedings

Statutory ban

  • Establishing the reason
  • Reasonableness
  • Driving bans

Some other substantial reason

  • Business reorganisations
  • Protecting employers’ interests
  • Third party pressure to dismiss
  • Expiry of a limited-term contract
  • Miscellaneous reasons


  • Statutory retirement procedure
  • Retirement as reason for dismissal
  • Fairness of retirement dismissals
  • Default retirement age

Automatically unfair dismissals

  • List of automatically unfair reasons
  • Different rules applicable to automatically unfair dismissals
  • Dismissal in connection with jury service
  • Dismissal for refusing to work on Sunday
  • Dismissal of employee representatives
  • Dismissal in connection with occupational pensions
  • Dismissal in connection with tax credits
  • Dismissals relating to study and training
  • Dismissal relating to trade union blacklists


Health and safety dismissals

  • Scope of protection
  • Health and safety representatives
  • Employees who are not health and safety representatives

Dismissal for asserting a statutory right

  • Assertion of a statutory right
  • Requirement of good faith
  • Reason for dismissal

Whistleblowing dismissals

  • Disclosure of information
  • Qualifying disclosures
  • Method of disclosure
  • Reason for dismissal
  • Injury to feelings


  • Reinstatement and re-engagement
  • Compensation

Basic awards

  • Calculation of basic award
  • Reductions in basic awards
  • Settlements and ex gratia payments
  • Order of deductions

Compensatory awards: types of loss

  • Nature and maximum amount of award
  • Immediate loss
  • Future loss
  • Expenses
  • Loss of statutory rights
  • Pension loss
  • Interest

Compensatory awards: pension loss

  • Tribunal Guidelines
  • Types of pension
  • The “simplified loss” approach
  • The “substantial loss” approach

Compensatory awards: adjustments and deductions

  • Adjustments for breach of Acas Code of Practice
  • Contributory conduct
  • “Just and equitable” amount
  • “Polkey” deductions
  • Failure to mitigate losses
  • Order of adjustments and deductions
  • Drafting schedules of loss

Additional awards and interim relief

  • Additional awards
  • Interim relief


  • Scope of Recoupment Regulations
  • Recoupment procedure
  • Protective awards

Written reasons for dismissal

  • Entitlement
  • Employer’s obligation
  • Ground for complaint
  • Remedies