Unfair Dismissals

We provide advice to both employers and employees in relation to Unfair Dismissal in the workplace.

Under the Unfair Dismissals Acts 1977 to 2007 an unfair dismissal can occur  where:

  • An employer terminates an employee’s contract of employment, with or without notice or
  • An employee terminates his or her own contract of employment, with or without notice, due to the conduct of their employer. This is known as constructive dismissal.

If an employee is dismissed from their employment, they may, under certain conditions, bring a claim for unfair dismissal against their employer.  The unfair dismissals legislation in Ireland does not actually protect an employee from dismissal, rather it provides a system of appeal whereby you can question the fairness of your dismissal after it has occurred.

An employee will have to show that they qualify to bring a claim under the legislation. If they do this and their employer accepts that there was a dismissal, it will be for the employer to show that there were fair grounds for the dismissal. Apart from a case involving constructive dismissal, a dismissal is presumed to be unfair unless an employer can show substantial grounds to justify it.

Under the legislation an employee may ask their employer for a written statement of the reasons for their dismissal.  The employer should provide this within 14 days of the employee’s request.

If an employee is found to have been unfairly dismissed they may be placed back in their job or, more commonly, they may receive compensation for the loss of earnings caused by the dismissal.

If an employee wishes to make a claim for unfair dismissal they should do so within 6 months of the date of dismissal. This time limit may be extended to 12 months in cases where exceptional circumstances have prevented the lodgement of the claim within 6 months.

If an employee qualifies under the unfair dismissals legislation, they may bring their claim to a Rights Commissioner and Healy O’Connor Solicitors provide representation at the Rights Commissioner for the hearing of the case. The Rights Commissioner will issue a recommendation and either the employer or the employee may appeal that recommendation to the Employment Appeals Tribunal.

Contact us

Healy O’Connor Solicitors provide representation at both the Employment Appeals Tribunal and the Circuit Court for the hearing of these appeals. For fruther information please contact us at employmentteam@hoc.ie

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