LRD Booklets November 2014

Unfair dismissal - a legal guide for union reps



[page 5]

A well organised workforce is one that knows its rights. This means that union and employee representatives need to have a good grasp of the current law on dismissal and their members’ rights to job protection. This legal guide will help representatives to understand how the law operates and what the different types of dismissal are.

• Chapter 1 puts recent changes to unfair dismissal law into their political context;

• Chapter 2 looks at what makes a dismissal and the rules relating to notice;

• Chapter 3 looks at the rules on qualifying for unfair dismissal rights, including employment status and service continuity;

• Chapter 4 examines what makes a dismissal unfair;

• Chapter 5 looks at what reasons make a dismissal automatically unfair;

• Chapter 6 explains constructive dismissal;

• Chapter 7 looks at wrongful dismissal;

• Chapter 8 looks at how to bring a claim;

• Chapter 9 looks at remedies in a successful claim.

Individual rights are no substitute for a well organised workforce, especially when those rights are under attack. Even so, the best results are often achieved through a combination of individual union-backed tribunal claims supported by collective action and, where necessary, industrial action.

This booklet is aimed at union members, reps, full-time officers and anyone with an interest in unfair dismissal and access to justice from a trade union perspective. It is not intended as a guide to legal advisers.

The booklet refers throughout to legislation and legal cases — details of where to obtain these are set out on page 87.

Most trade unions offer their members a legal advice service and any member or rep contemplating taking a legal case should contact their union first. This booklet does not contain individual legal advice and should not be relied on as such.