Unlawful dismissal is when an employer terminates the employment of a person without a “sufficient cause.” This means that there was not any valid reason to terminate the employee or it can be assumed that they have been terminated for unjust reasons. 

Sometimes, employers are able to justify their behaviour through what is called work-related misconduct by employees. However, this does not mean that just because one has committed some type of incompetence at work doesn’t necessarily mean they should lose their job as well.  

Here, we will explore some of the most common situations where an employee has been wrongfully dismissed. Remember that if you feel you have been terminated unjustly, it’s best to seek legal advice from a respected unfair dismissal lawyer.

1) The employer terminates the employment because of a discriminatory reason such as sex, race, religion or disability.

2) A collective agreement between the union and management is violated by terminating someone who belongs to a unionised workforce. This type of violation would occur when a person was fired while others in similar positions were not terminated simultaneously.

3) The employer fires the employee in retaliation for trying to assert their rights, such as filing a complaint or going on strike.

4) One of the most common types of unlawful dismissal is when the employer dismisses an employee without notice or proper severance pay. This can leave employees scrambling to find new employment and support themselves and their families during a difficult time.

5) The employer terminates a staff member due to poor performance. If the poor performance was not addressed in a timely manner and/or was not properly documented, an employee may have grounds to file for wrongful dismissal. 

Because there is no need to give notice when dismissing someone for just cause (poor performance), employers tend to terminate employees without advance warning or severance pay.

6) The employer dismisses an employee because of misconduct. This sounds about right if proven. But what if the employee did not commit that misconduct at all? What if the accusation was fabricated by someone else in order to get rid of the employee? This is another scenario where an employee may have grounds to file for wrongful dismissal.

7) The employer unilaterally changes an essential term of employment without consulting with the employee beforehand.

8) If an employee has been forced to resign, there is a good chance this was not of their own free will. This means that the resignation could be considered to have been made under duress and therefore cannot form any part of an employee’s official work history

If you have been dismissed from your job and believe that the termination was unlawful, it is important to seek legal advice to understand your rights. There are laws in place to protect employees from wrongful dismissal and can help you determine if you have a case. 

If you don’t know what to do or don’t know where to start, reach out to us. We can provide you with a respected unfair dismissal lawyer to make sure you are guided every step of the way.