Dismissal where the reason or principal reason arises from one of the following categories will be deemed automatically unfair. In most cases, no minimum period of service is required. Categories for which normal service is required are marked with an asterisk (*).

  • Requirement to perform jury service
  • Right to time off for
    • dependants
    • pregnancy-related/adoption appointments
    • accompanying a woman to an ante-natal appointment
  • Pregnancy/childbirth or family leave
  • Proscribed health and safety reason
  • Refusal to work on Sundays
  • Entitlement to paid annual leave
  • Making a protected disclosure (‘whistle-blowing’)
  • Asserting a statutory right (including right to Living (Minimum) Wage)
  • Making a request for flexible working
  • Enrolment into workplace pension scheme
  • Request for training and study leave
  • Spent convictions*
  • Trades’ union related matters, including
    • campaigning for trade union recognition
    • membership
    • activities including bargaining
    • use of union services
  • Right of to be accompanied in disciplinary/grievance hearings
  • Transfer of an undertaking/service provision change*
  • Assertion of part-time and fixed-term workers’ rights
  • Assertion of rights to information and consultation in certain circumstances
  • Certain agency worker rights

*normal minimum length of service required.

NB. The above list includes the most common categories of automatic unfair dismissal but is not exhaustive.

Click here to go back to our unfair dismissal page.