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Automatic unfair dismissal

Author: Fiona Cuming

Updating authors: Max Winthrop and Zuraida Curtis


  • The employment legislation sets out a number of reasons for dismissal that are deemed to be automatically unfair. (See Automatically unfair reasons)
  • A redundancy dismissal will be automatically unfair if the reason or principal reason for selecting the employee is for an automatically unfair reason. (See Unfair selection for redundancy)
  • Employees do not need the usual minimum two years' service to be able to bring a claim for automatic unfair dismissal except where the employee is dismissed because of a TUPE transfer. (See No minimum service necessary)
  • Where the tribunal determines that the dismissal was for one of the automatically unfair reasons, the employer will not be able to defend the claim. (See No defence where automatic unfair reason proven)
  • In certain circumstances, an employee may be able to apply for an order for interim relief. (See Interim relief)
  • There is a minimum amount payable as the basic award where the dismissal is for certain automatically unfair reasons. (See Basic award - minimum amount)
  • The statutory cap on the compensatory award does not apply where the automatically unfair reason was related to whistleblowing or health and safety. (See Compensatory award - circumstances where no statutory cap)