Losing your job for any reason is likely to be stressful and disruptive. And it’s even worse if you think your employer has acted unfairly.
There are situations where employers are entitled to terminate a contract, but they must have a lawful reason, give the agreed amount of notice and follow a fair procedure.
To be legally protected against unfair dismissal, you must have at least two years of continuous service with your employer. There are some statutory fair reasons for dismissal, and if your dismissal isn’t for one of those, it could be unfair.
The law treats some reasons for dismissal as so unacceptable that they’re “automatically unfair”. In most cases of automatically unfair dismissal, you’re protected from day one in a new job. Examples include dismissals for being a trade union member, being pregnant, whistleblowing or asserting your statutory rights (e.g. asking for flexible working or paternity leave).
You’re also protected where a dismissal is discriminatory. From day one, your employer can’t dismiss you for a reason that relates to race, disability, sex, pregnancy or maternity, marriage or civil partnership, being transgender, sexual orientation, religion or belief.