The UK Rules
'Follow the Regulations'
Automatic Unfair Dismissal

Automatic Unfair Dismissals

Reasons for Unfair Dismissal 'Automatically'

Dismissal for a certain trade union related reason

Dismissal for asserting a statutory right (e.g. objection to illegal deduction from wages or insisting on any of his statutory rights under the Employment Rights Act 1996)

Dismissal for a health and safety related reason (e.g. refusing to operate dangerous machinery)

Dismissal for a maternity related reason (e.g. sacked when she tells employer she is pregnant)

Dismissal in connection with function as a pension scheme trustee

Dismissal in connection with performing a function as an employee representative or a special negotiating body or European Works Council etc

Dismissal in connection with refusal of Sunday work by a shop worker

Dismissal in connection with working time (e.g. someone who asks to be allowed to take annual leave or breaks or refuses to opt out of the 48 hour week)

Dismissal in connection with assertion of right to the National Minimum Wage

Dismissal in connection with making a protected disclosure (whistle blowing)

Dismissal in connection with trade union recognition or bargaining arrangements

Dismissal in connection with exercising the right to be accompanied to a disciplinary or grievance hearing

Dismissal in connection with taking part in protected industrial action (official strikes for example)

Dismissal because of taking time off for dependants or paternity or parental leave

Dismissal because of action related to part time worker’s rights

Dismissal in connection with someone’s rights as a fixed term employee

Selection for dismissal by way of redundancy because of an automatically unfair reason

Dismissal in connection with Tax Credits or a claim for the same

Dismissal for being absent on jury service or because the employee has been summoned for jury service

Dismissal for asserting a right to apply for flexible working

Dismissal for asserting a right to apply for time off for study or training

Dismissal because of a TUPE transfer or a reason connected with the transfer that is not an economic, technical or organisational reason entailing changes in the workforce

Dismissal because of a spent conviction

Dismissal for exercising rights under the Agency Workers Regulations 2010

Dismissal for refusal to accept an offer by the employer to become an employee shareholder (See Section 205A ERA 1996).

Qualifying Continuous Employment

All of the above qualify as an automatic unfair dismissal. In most of these cases an employee does not need to have a period of qualifying continuous employment EXCEPT in the following;

Dismissal in connection with a TUPE transfer

Dismissal because of a spent conviction

Dismissal in connection with an application for flexible working. (But they will give rise to an automatic unfair dismissal if they are shown to be the reason for dismissal of someone qualified to claim).

Automatic Unfair Dismissal at Work; UK Rules Updated 2017