Unfair Dismissal

According to the Unfair Dismissals Acts 1977-2015 unfair dismissal can occur in the following ways;

  • When an employer terminates an employee contract with notice given or
  • An employee terminates his/her contract with a company due to the conduct of the employer (Constructive Dismissal)

If you are dismissed from your contract of employment, you can in certain circumstances bring a claim of unfair dismissal against your employer. This does not protect you from being dismissed in your position but it does bring the question of the fairness of the dismissal.

If you feel that you were unfairly treated you will have to show that you qualify to bring a claim under the legislation by proving one of the following reasons;

  • Membership or proposed membership of a Trade Union
  • Religious or political opinions
  • Legal proceedings against an employer where an employee is party or witness
  • Race, colour, sexual orientation, age or membership of the traveller community
  • Any matters connected with pregnancy or birth
  • Availing of maternity leave, adoptive leave, paternity leave, carer’s leave, parental leave
  • Unfair selection for redundancy
  • Making a protected disclosure under the Protected Disclosures Act 2014


Redundancy is considered to be fair grounds for a dismissal from current employment, however you may have grounds for complaint if the manner that you were selected for redundancy was unfair. Unless your employer can prove that there was a genuine redundancy situation your dismissal can be found to be unfair.


In order for you to qualify for Unfair Dismissal the following requirements must be met;

Time Limit – A time limit of 6 months from the date of dismissal is set for you to claim under the legislation. If you can prove reasonable cause this can be extended up to 12 months.

Service – You must have at least 12 months’ continuous employment with your company in order for you to bring a claim.

Employment Status – You must be a current employee of the company, working under a contract of service.

Fact of Dismissal – You must have been dismissed from your current contract in order to bring a claim. The one exception being if you are forced to resign as a result of your employers conduct.


If you are successful in your claim of unfair dismissal you may be awarded one of the of the following remedies to your claim;

Reinstatement – Although rarely used, this means that you are treated as if the dismissal had never taken place. You are entitled to the loss of earnings from the date of dismissal to the date of the hearing.

Re-engagement – This means that you are given your job back but only from a particular date, usually from the date of the decision of the hearing. This does mean that you are not entitled to any loss of earnings that you have incurred.

Compensation – Compensation is the most commonly used remedy. It is essential to note that compensation is only granted in respect of financial loss.

If you would like to discuss this further please contact Jessica Moloney on 021 4254100.