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When: Feb 20, 12
Who: Staff

The Unfair Dismissals Act, 1977 brought about major changes in employment law and practice for employees and established two fundamental principles namely that a dismissal will be deemed to be unfair unless there are substantial grounds to justify it and secondly that the Employment Appeals Tribunal may enquire into the conduct of the employer and whether fair procedures were applied when effecting the dismissal.

A dismissal is deemed to be unfair if it results, wholly or mainly, from one or more of the following:-

1. An employee’s trade union membership, proposed membership or engaging in trade union activities outside working hours or during agreed working hours;
2. The religious or political opinions of an employee;
3. Actual, threatened or proposed civil or criminal proceedings against the employer in which the employee is a party or witness;
4. The proposed exercise of parental leave, force majeure leave or carer’s rights leave;
5. The race, colour or sexual orientation of the employee;
6. The employee’s age;
7. The employee’s membership of the travelling community;
8. The employee’s pregnancy, attendance at antenatal classes, giving birth or matters therein connected;
9. Exercise of proposed maternity leave right or adoptive rights;
10. Unfair selection for redundancy (Redundancy makes a dismissal fair, provided the employee has been fairly selected for the redundancy).

You may have been in a work situation where you felt that you had to resign due, for example, to the conduct of your employer or due to intolerable working conditions. This is known as constructive dismissal and it arises where the employee him/herself terminates his/her employment but does so due to the fact that the employer’s conduct towards the employee was sufficiently serious that the resignation was in fact a dismissal.

In order to initiate a claim for unfair dismissal you must be over the age of 16 and, subject to some exceptions, have at least 52 weeks continuous service. A claim for unfair dismissal must be made to either the Rights Commissioner or the Employment Appeals Tribunal within six months of the dismissal.

If you have been dismissed from your employment and believe that your dismissal was unfair, you should seek legal advice from an experienced employment law solicitor without delay.

You should contact us at for expert advice and guidance in this area.

About Us & Contact

Kieran McCarthy & Co. Solicitors
Floor 3B, 6 Lapps Quay, Cork.
t: 021 427 5220 | f: 021 427 5250

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