1. Overview

Dismissal is when your employer ends your employment - they don’t always have to give you notice.

If you’re dismissed, your employer must show they’ve:

  • a valid reason that they can justify
  • acted reasonably in the circumstances

They must also:

  • be consistent - eg not dismiss you for doing something that they let other employees do
  • have investigated the situation fully before dismissing you - eg if a complaint was made about you

If you’re a part-time or fixed-term worker, you can’t be treated less favourably than a full-time or permanent employee.

Notice period

You must be given at least the notice stated in your contract or the statutory minimum notice period, whichever is longer.

There are some situations where you can be dismissed immediately - eg for violence.

Getting your dismissal in writing

You have the right to ask for a written statement from your employer giving the reasons why you’ve been dismissed if you’re an employee and have completed 2 years’ service (1 year if you started before 6 April 2012).

Your employer must supply the statement within 14 days of you asking for it.

Your employer must give you a written statement if you’re dismissed while you are on Statutory Maternity Leave. You get this:

  • even if you’ve not asked for one
  • regardless of how long you’ve worked for your employer

Speak to your employer or check your employment status if you’re unsure of your employment status.

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