To be a 'fair' dismissal, an employer must show that it was due to one of five specific reasons. The employer must also have acted fairly and reasonably in carrying out the dismissal. More positive approaches, such as coaching and counselling, may help in some cases relating to conduct or performance, and should be considered before resorting to dismissal.

This factsheet explains the difference between wrongful and unfair dismissal. Concentrating on unfair dismissal, it provides advice on investigating misconduct and poor performance and following a fair dismissal procedure. It also sets out the qualifying periods at the start of employment when an employee is not entitled to make a claim of unfair dismissal. The factsheet concludes by considering the calculation of compensation for wrongful or unfair dismissal.

CIPD viewpoint

What is dismissal?

Wrongful dismissal

Unfair dismissal

Constructive dismissal

Compensation for dismissal

References

Useful contacts and further reading

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