We deal with claims on behalf of employees relating to employment matters including taking legal action for unfair dismissal compensation. Our solicitors are experts in their field and where possible they negotiate settlement failing which they will make application to the Employment Tribunal in Southampton to resolve any dispute. They operate the no win no fee* scheme and make no charge whatsoever if the claim is lost. If compensation is recovered on your behalf then costs are charged based on a percentage of the total sum recovered. If you would like to discuss your potential claim with a specialist lawyer with no charge and with no obligation just use the helpline or email our offices or complete and send the contact form.

Unreasonable Termination

Unfair dismissal within the context of UK employment law means dismissal or termination of employment for reasons that are unreasonable and unlawful thereby giving that former employee recourse to law. An application may be made to the Southampton Employment Tribunal for compensation or for re-instatement to the previous employment (although such orders are not common). There are a number of statutes that protect employees from being dismissed for reasons that are not acceptable and in addition an employee can usually rely on their contract of employment for protection against an employer who acts unlawfully. In addition there is specific legislation that may afford protection to an employee including the Race Relations Act, the Disability Discrimination Act and the Sex Discrimination Act.

Lawful Dismissal

Not all termination of employment can be classed as unfair dismissal and an employer in Southampton is entitled to determine a contract of employment lawfully in the following circumstances :-

When the employees conduct is not acceptable and this can include theft, assault, persistent absence, regular lateness, drunkenness at work, unkempt or unsuitable dress or appearance, violent, abusive, provocative or threatening behaviour and any other anti-social behaviour that has a detrimental effect on the employers business including affecting other members of staff, suppliers or clients and customers.

If the employee is incapable of carrying out the job. This may include lack of skills, lack of knowledge, incompetence, inadequate training or education or any other substantive reason.

In a genuine redundancy situation where either the firm closes down or there is inadequate work available for the employee. There are occasions when an employer attempts to dismiss by way of redundancy when a redundancy situation does not exist simply because it may be cheaper to make a redundancy payment than pay compensation for unlawful termination and in these situations an employee can make an application to the tribunal for compensation for unfair dismissal.

If continuation of the employment is illegal or causes a breach of statutory duty. This can occur in the case of a foreign national whose work permit expires.

In the case of some other substantial reason that justifies termination of employment. Not all circumstances and situations can be envisaged in advance and the Employment Tribunal has a wide discretion to determine what is and what is not a reasonable excuse for termination of employment.

Unlawful Termination

There are however many circumstances where termination of employment is unlawful including :-

  • discrimination on the grounds of race, sex, age, religion or disability
  • membership or non membership of a trades union
  • some matters relating to industrial action
  • medical conditions that have no effect on employment
  • refusal to work more than 48 hours per week
  • termination as a result of taking maternity/paternity/ante natal/dependents/parental leave


HELPLINE 0345 515 0362

*legal information