One of your main rights as a worker in Ireland is that you can’t be fired without good reason. Sometimes employers will have real cause to let people go; this can be because of troubles within the company or bad behaviour by an employee.
But it’s always the responsibility of your boss to prove that you’re being dismissed for fair reasons and that the proper legal process is being followed.
If you are ever let go from a job and your employer can’t prove it was a fair dismissal, then it is automatically considered unfair. People who have been unfairly dismissed may have their jobs restored or, more often, will get cash compensation for their trouble.
Getting dismissed (“fired”) is different from being made redundant. In a dismissal, your employer intends to replace you with someone else, while being made redundant means your job has ceased to exist. Head over to our article on redundancy if it’s more suited to your situation.
A dismissal is automatically unfair when the employer can’t prove that all of your workplace rights were followed. Your employer will have to do all of the following or else your dismissal is considered unfair.
Your employer will have to prove that they are letting you go for one of the following reasons:
Your employer has to be able to show they’ve acted fairly and followed fair procedures in dismissing you. This includes giving you appropriate warnings about your behaviour or the company’s situation. They will also have to carefully follow your workplace’s written disciplinary procedures.
If you’ve worked at least 13 weeks for your current employer, you’re entitled to no less than one week’s notice before you’re let go. This increases the longer you’ve worked somewhere: you’re entitled to two weeks’ notice after two years, four weeks after five years, and so on.
Your written contract may entitle you to more notice but not less than these minimums. In some cases, you may receive payment instead of notice. You may also receive neither if you are being let go for serious misconduct such as theft or assault.
During your dismissal you must receive a P45 document, a payslip, any outstanding pay including for the rest of your annual leave, and information on what happens to your pension scheme if you have one. Your employer must also give you a written copy of the reasons for your dismissal within 14 days of you asking for one.
There are certain things that you can never be dismissed for under Irish law. Therefore, if you’ve been let go for any of the following reasons, it’s always considered an unfair dismissal:
If you have been dismissed or discriminated against you only have three months within which to lodge an unfair dismissal claim in the Industrial Tribunal. We recommend that that you speak to our team at Claims Ireland as soon as possible after any incident so that you get expert advice on your claim. You can call us on (ROI) 012549899 / (NI) 028 9039 3628, or send an online enquiry.
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