Dismissal: your rights

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What to do if you're dismissed

If you’re threatened with dismissal (or are dismissed) you can get help from a third party to solve the issue by mediation, conciliation and arbitration.

You can also speak to your union representative if you’re a member of a trade union.

Employment tribunals

If you’ve been unable to solve a problem between you and your employer, you can normally go to an employment tribunal.

In Northern Ireland, you can go to an industrial tribunal.

Qualifying period to claim unfair dismissal

You must have worked for your employer for a minimum period before you qualify for the right to claim unfair dismissal at a tribunal. If you’re classed as an employee and started your job:

  • on or after 6 April 2012 - the qualifying period is normally 2 years
  • before 6 April 2012 - the qualifying period is normally 1 year

In Northern Ireland, the qualifying period is still normally 1 year.

There is no qualifying period if you’ve been dismissed from 25 June 2013 because of your political opinions or affiliation. You’ll automatically have the right to go to an employment tribunal.

In unfair dismissal claims you must make the claim to a tribunal within 3 months of being dismissed.

Check if you’ll pay tax on any payments you receive

If you’re dismissed you may get a ‘termination payment’. This could include:

  • holiday pay
  • unpaid wages
  • company benefits, for example bonuses

What you’ll pay tax and National Insurance on depends on what’s included in your termination payment.