Dismissal - Your Rights

Dismissal is when your employer ends your employment - they do not always have to give you notice.

If you are dismissed, your employer must show they have:

  • a valid reason that they can justify 

  • acted reasonably in the circumstances 

They must also: 

  • be consistent for example not dismiss you for doing something that they let other employees do 

  • have investigated the situation fully before dismissing you for example if a complaint was made about you 

If you are a part-time or fixed-term worker, you cannot be treated less favourably than a full-time or permanent employee. 

Notice period 

You must be given at least the notice stated in your contract or the statutory minimum notice period, whichever is longer. 

There are some situations where you can be dismissed immediately for example for violence. 

Getting your dismissal in writing 

You have the right to ask for a written statement from your employer giving the reasons why you have been dismissed if you are an employee and have completed two years’ service (one year if you started before 6 April 2012).  

Your employer must supply the statement within 14 days of you asking for it.  

Your employer must give you a written statement if you are dismissed while you are on Statutory Maternity Leave. You get this: 

  • even if you have not asked for one 

  • regardless of how long you have worked for your employer 

Speak to your employer or check your employment status if you are unsure of your employment status. 

See also: 

Further information on dismissal: your rights can be found on GOV.UK's website.