Losing a job can be a stressful and emotional experience, especially if you believe your dismissal was unjust. In the UK, employment laws provide protection against unfair dismissal, ensuring that employees are treated fairly by their employers. If you’re navigating the aftermath of a job termination and suspect it might have been unfair, understanding your rights and the steps you can take is crucial. This guide aims to demystify the process, offering clear, practical advice on how to determine if your dismissal was unfair and how Contend’s AI legal experts can support you through this challenging time.

Understanding Unfair Dismissal

Unfair dismissal is a term that refers to an employer terminating an employee’s contract without a fair reason or failing to follow the correct procedure during the dismissal process. In the UK, employees have the right to challenge a dismissal they deem unfair, but it’s important to understand what constitutes as “unfair” in the eyes of the law.

What Makes a Dismissal Unfair?

Several scenarios can lead to a dismissal being considered unfair, including but not limited to:

  • Lack of a valid reason for dismissal
  • Failure to follow the company’s disciplinary or dismissal process
  • Dismissal based on discriminatory reasons
  • Termination due to an employee exercising their legal rights

For help with questions related to your issue, you can chat with one of Contend’s legal experts, and get immediate answers to your legal questions.

Assessing Your Situation

Before taking any action, it’s vital to assess whether your dismissal might be deemed unfair. Here are some steps to guide you through this process:

Check the Reason for Your Dismissal

Employers must have a valid reason for dismissing an employee, such as misconduct, redundancy, or incapacity. If the reason given doesn’t align with these categories, or if you believe the reason to be a pretext, your dismissal could be unfair.

Review the Dismissal Procedure

Even if the reason for your dismissal is potentially valid, the process followed by your employer can also impact the fairness of your dismissal. Employers are expected to follow a fair and transparent procedure, giving you an opportunity to respond to any allegations.

Evaluate Any Discriminatory Factors

If your dismissal was based on, or influenced by, discrimination (e.g., age, gender, race, disability), it would likely be considered unfair. Discrimination can sometimes be subtle, so it’s important to consider all aspects of your dismissal.

Employment: solicitors for unfair dismissal

Taking Action: Your Next Steps

If, after assessing your situation, you believe your dismissal was unfair, there are specific steps you can take to challenge it.

Seek Legal Guidance

Navigating employment law can be complex, and seeking legal advice is a wise first step. Contend’s AI legal experts can provide you with personalized guidance, helping you understand your rights and the best course of action based on your unique circumstances. Check how to apply for interim relief on the website of Protect. Protect is a charity that helps whistleblowers.

Consider Early Conciliation

Before making a formal claim for unfair dismissal, you’re required to contact ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) for early conciliation. This process aims to resolve disputes without going to a tribunal.

Making a Claim to an Employment Tribunal

If early conciliation doesn’t resolve the issue, you can make a claim to an employment tribunal. Be mindful of the strict time limits – you usually have only three months less one day from the date of your dismissal to make your claim.

How Contend Can Help

At Contend, we understand how challenging dealing with unfair dismissal can be. Our AI legal experts, built by lawyers and legal professionals, are designed to offer you support and guidance every step of the way. By chatting with our AI legal assistant, you can gain insights into whether your dismissal might be considered unfair and learn more about your options for challenging it. Our platform aims to make legal support accessible and understandable, ensuring you have the information you need in just 5 minutes or less.


Facing an unfair dismissal can be a daunting experience, but you don’t have to navigate it alone. By understanding your rights, assessing your situation carefully, and seeking the right support, you can challenge your dismissal confidently. Contend is here to provide you with the legal guidance and support you need during this difficult time. If you’re dealing with an unfair dismissal, don’t wait – chat now with Contend’s legal expert and take the first step towards resolving your legal problem.

Remember, every situation is unique, and while this guide offers a general overview, personalized advice from legal professionals can make a significant difference in your case. Let Contend be your partner in navigating the complexities of employment law and help you find the best path forward.

You can click here to chat with one of Contend’s legal experts today.

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