If one feels that they are a victim of an unfair dismissal then they must first look towards the Unfair Dismissals Acts 1977-2011. This legislation provides a remedy for those affected workers. It is based upon two principles. Firstly there must be substantive grounds for dismissal and secondly, that fair procedures must have followed when the worker was terminated from employment. If either of these principles has not been followed correctly then a claim for dismissal could arise in two situations. The employer must have terminated your contract or else you must have terminated your own contract due to the conduct of your employer. This is also known as Constructive Dismissal. If either of these situations has arisen then a
claim for dismissal may be brought. A dismissal brought due through membership of a trade union, religious or political opinions, race, colour, sexual orientation, age, maternal leave or pregnancy will be deemed automatically unfair.
The procedure that must be followed is a system of appeal where you can question the fairness of your dismissal. The employer must show substantial grounds in proving dismissal and the burden of proof solely lies with them. If the employee is making a claim then they may ask their employer for a written statement for the reasons for their dismissal.
Requirements to bring claim
There are also a number of requirements for the employee to fulfil before the case may be brought. There is a time limit of 6 months from the dismissal in which the claim must be made. The employee must also have 12 months continuous service. You must also have been working under a contract of service, in so far that there is an employer/employee relationship while a service is provided for remuneration in return. There are also a number of statutory forms needed when making a claim. A T1-A must be entered if a claim is being made to the tribunal under the relevant acts. Similarly a T1-B must be entered for appeals of a rights commissioner’s recommendation to the Tribunal under relevant acts. A T1-C must be entered if there is an appeal to the tribunal under the Protection of Employees (Employers Insolvency) Acts, 1984-1991. Employers must use a T2 form when entering a notice of appearance before the tribunal.
When the claim is entered, a Rights Commissioner will first be appointed. The Rights Commissioner will listen to both sides and a recommendation will be put forward to the parties involved. It is possible to bring a case straight to the EAT and avoid the Rights Commissioner by ticking a box on the TIA. Either party may appeal the decision to the Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT). The EAT will hear the appeal from the two parties. They will then issue a determination to the parties. This can also be appealed to the Circuit Court. A rights commissioner can also be appointed to mediate a dispute where an employee does not qualify under the Unfair Dismissals Act 1977-2011. A recommendation may also be given but it will not be legally binding. Depending on the outcome of the claim, redress is available in three different forms. Firstly there is reinstatement, where the employee is reinstated to their previous employment while also entitled to any loss of earnings up until the date of the hearing. Secondly there is re-engagement, where you will be entitled to go back to your previous employment or a similar
position in the company after a certain date. You will not be entitled to any loss of earnings before that period. Thirdly, and the most common form of redress is compensation. It is awarded in relation to financial loss. A number of factors will be taken into consideration including present loss, future loss and any contributory conduct on behalf of the employee, even if it is found to be an unfair dismissal.
The Unfair Dismissals Acts 1977-2011 provides a suitable remedy for those that are of the opinion that they have unfairly dismissed from employment. The Acts have established a clear appeals procedure to follow upon bringing a case. Once the relevant criteria have been fulfilled then your case should proceed speedily and a resolution should be achieved quickly. If you have any enquiry in this area, then Emily Woods would be happy to answer your query.