Unfairly Dismissed? What You Need to Know

If you feel that you’ve been unfairly dismissed, you may be wondering what your rights are, whether you are eligible to submit a complaint, and who to contact.

To help shed some light on a complicated situation, we’ve compiled an overview of what you need to know and do if you think you have been unfairly dismissed.

What are the Criteria for Unfair Dismissal?

The Unfair Dismissals Acts 1977-2015  is the key legislation in Ireland regarding unfair dismissals. According to the acts, your dismissal would be automatically considered unfair if you were dismissed for any of the following reasons:

  • Trade union membership,
  • Religious or political views,
  • Race, sexual orientation, age, or membership of the Travelling community,
  • Pregnancy, giving birth, or breastfeeding,
  • Taking maternity leave, paternity leave, parental leave, parent’s leave, adoptive leave, force majeure leave, or carer’s leave,
  • Unfair selection for redundancy,
  • Your disclosure of ‘wrongdoing at work’ under the Protected Disclosures Act 2014,

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  • Acting as a party or witness for legal proceedings against your employer.

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A dismissal may also be considered unfair if an employee has been dismissed without substantial reason or if natural justice and fair procedures have not been applied and followed regarding the dismissal. 

What are My Rights if I’ve Been Unfairly Dismissed?

The unfair dismissals legislation will not prevent your dismissal. Rather, it gives you the right to make a complaint once it has happened. (Source)

Once you’ve issued a complaint, the burden of proof lies with your employer, and they must prove that your dismissal was fair. 

What Should I Do if I Think I’ve Been Dismissed Unfairly? 

Contact a solicitor, who can provide you with legal advice and represent you at case hearings.

To raise your complaint, a Workplace Relations Complaint Form needs to be submitted to the Workplace Relations Commission as a first step.

How do I Know if I’m Eligible to Submit a Complaint?

Be aware that there are certain eligibility criteria in order to proceed with an unfair dismissal complaint against your employer:

  • You must lodge the complaint with the Workplace Relations Commission within 6 months of the date of termination of employment. 

There are also several reasons why the unfair dismissals act may not apply to you, including being a member of the Defence Forces or the Gardaì.

Do You Think You Have Been Unfairly Dismissed?

The subject of unfair dismissals is complex. You want to be guaranteed that your rights are being upheld and that you receive adequate redress. 

At Martin A. Harvey & Co. Solicitors, our experienced team can provide you with advice and guide you through the entire process.

Contact us on 021496 3400 freephone or email us at maharvey@martinharvey.ie and we would be happy to help.