See also ‘Constructive Dismissal’ – Unfair dismissal is where an employee has been dismissed unfairly by their employer from their position of employment. An employee may also claim that they have been unfairly dismissed where their employer has engaged in such behaviour which leaves that employee with no other option but to leave their employment; this is known as constructive dismissal.

If a claim of unfair dismissal progresses to the LRC or EAT, the employer will be required to prove that their decision to dismiss was fair and reasonable in the circumstances.

A dismissal will be automatically unfair if it is motivated by: one of the nine grounds of discrimination; the employee’s trade union activity; the fact that the employee has legal proceedings against the employer; the fact that the employee has exercised some statutory right. Unfair selection for redundancy is also an automatically unfair dismissal.

The maximum award available to an employee for unfair dismissal is two year’s pay in compensation. The LRC and/or EAT also has the power to order that the employee be re-instated or re-engaged into the company from which they had been dismissed.