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Unfair & Constructive Dismissal

Facing unfair dismissal disciplinary action can be deeply stressful and worrying for any employee. Not only is your job and income at risk, but such action can dent both your confidence and reputation.

If you believe you are unfairly facing disciplinary action and/or dismissal, it is important to seek legal advice to understand your rights and entitlements and the options available to you for recourse. Timely legal advice can significantly increase your chances of a positive outcome, such as keeping your job or receiving a fair financial settlement from your former employer.

At Lavelle Partners, our employment lawyers regularly advise employees facing disciplinary proceedings and those who believe they have been unfairly dismissed. We can also provide expert support for those you have been forced to resign and believe they have grounds for a claim of constructive dismissal.

Offering many years of experience and a sympathetic approach, our unfair dismissal solicitors in Dublin can make sure you are clear about your rights and guide you through taking action, including negotiating a settlement with your employer or taking your case to the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) where appropriate.

For clear, practical advice on dealing with unfair dismissal and constructive dismissal in Ireland, please contact our friendly, expert team today.

How our employment lawyers in Ireland can help you with unfair dismissal and constructive dismissal

Clear advice on whether your dismissal was unfair

When you find yourself out of a job, it can be a very scary and confusing time. If you believe you were unfairly dismissed or forced to resign due to unfair treatment by your employer, your first step needs to be finding out whether the way you have been treated was unfair and, therefore, whether you have grounds for legal action.

Our employment lawyers in Dublin can talk through the circumstances leading up to your employment being terminated with you and then provide clear guidance on whether we believe you may have grounds for a claim of unfair dismissal or constructive dismissal.

We can then explain your legal options, including the possibility or negotiating a settlement with your former employer or pursuing a claim to the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC).

Support with pursuing an unfair dismissal or constructive dismissal claim

Should we feel that you have a case and you want to proceed with seeking redress from your former employer, we can support you through every stage of proceedings.

We can contact your former employer on your behalf and notify them of the reasons why you believe your dismissal was unlawful and the action you wish them to take to put things right. Alternatively, we can advise you on what to say when contacting your employer yourself if you would prefer this approach.

Whatever happens next, whether you employer is willing to reach a settlement or you have to take things to the Workplace Relations Commission, we will advise and guide you with clarity and sensitivity every step of the way.

Settlement agreements

It is possible your employer will offer you a settlement agreement to resolve your claim without further action. In such cases, our employment lawyers can review the agreement for you and provide advice on whether we believe it represents a fair deal for your interests.

Where we believe a better settlement can be achieved, or your employer wants to enter negotiations without offering an agreement first, we can support and represent you during settlement negotiations.

Making a claim to the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC)

Where it is necessary to make a claim to the Workplace Relations Commission, we can guide you through the whole process of preparing and submitting your claim, responding to any submissions made by your employer and meeting any requirements set by the WRC.

We can represent you during any hearing that takes place or advise you on representing yourself where required, making sure your case is presented clearly and effectively with all of the necessary evidence to support your claim.

Advice on disciplinary proceedings

If you find yourself facing disciplinary proceedings at work, we can advise you on your rights as well as what to say and what evidence you need to support your position. Where you believe the proceedings are unfair, we can provide effective guidance on what you should do and to what extent you need to engage with the proceedings to maintain a strong legal position.

If you are unhappy with the outcome of workplace disciplinary proceedings, we can advise you on your rights, including whether it is sensible to resign or whether you have grounds to take the matter to the Workplace Relations Commission.

Our employment dispute resolution fees

The legal fees involved in dealing with unfair dismissal, constructive dismissal or disciplinary proceedings will depend on the circumstances, including how complex your matter is, how long it takes to resolve and the level of expertise required.

In general, the costs will be lower if your matter can be dealt with amicably, for example with a settlement agreement, compared to if you need to take your claim to the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC).

It is worth bearing in mind that for some matters, such as reviewing a settlement agreement, your employer may cover the cost of your legal advice.

We want our fees to be as transparent as possible, so we will talk you through all of the likely costs involved in dealing with your matter during your initial consultation with our team. We will also cover your options for funding our legal advice. You will then be able to make an informed decision about what steps you want to take next.

*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement. This statement is made in compliance with RE.8 of SI 518 of 2002.

How unfair dismissal and constructive dismissal claims work in Ireland

What is meant by unfair dismissal under Irish law?

The Unfair Dismissals Acts 1977–2015 state that unfair dismissal is deemed to have occurred if your employer dismisses you without substantial reason justifying the dismissal. In addition, you may have been unfairly dismissed if on the basis of:

  • Trade union membership
  • Religious or political opinions
  • Civil or criminal proceedings against the employer by the employee
  • Race, colour, sexual orientation, age, or membership of the Traveller community
  • Pregnancy
  • Maternity leave, adoptive leave, paternity leave, carer’s leave, parental leave or force majeure leave
  • Unfair selection for redundancy
  • Whistleblowing

What is constructive dismissal under Irish law?

If you have terminated your employment as a result of the unfair and unreasonable conduct of your employer, it may be open to you to seek redress against your employer on the basis of constructive dismissal.

I am facing workplace disciplinary proceedings – what should I do?

The Code of Practice on Grievance and Disciplinary Procedures prescribes best practice for the handling of grievance and disciplinary proceedings by employers. The Code is designed to ensure that any procedures are fair and rational, the basis for any disciplinary proceedings are made clear to the employee concerned, as well as any possible penalties and the internal appeal procedure.

Having been advised you may face a disciplinary process, your employer should follow a step by step process, that may ultimately result in:

  • An oral warning
  • A written warning
  • A final written warning
  • Suspension without pay
  • Transfer to another task, or section of the enterprise
  • Demotion
  • Some other appropriate disciplinary action short of dismissal
  • Dismissal

It is essential that your employer allows you the opportunity to respond fully to any complaint and affords you a ‘fair and impartial determination of the issues concerned’.

If you have any concerns that you are being treated unfairly at any stage of the process, it is important to seek the guidance and advice of an employment Solicitor who specialises in disciplinary matters. Doing so will allow you to understand your legal rights, ensuring that any decisions you make are made with the full facts to hand.

Our expertise with unfair dismissal, constructive dismissal & disciplinary action in Ireland

For over 30 years, our team of employment law Solicitors, headed by Senior Partner, Marc Fitzgibbon, have been providing legal expertise in relation to unfair dismissal & disciplinary action in the workplace. Over that time, we have developed an enviable reputation for providing legal excellence and empathetic support for our valued clients.

Marc is a former member of the Law Society of Ireland’s Employment & Equality Law Committee and the European Employment Lawyers Association. He is a Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) accredited mediator and has been praised in the Legal 500 for his “highly practical” approach.

Our unfair dismissal and constructive dismissal solicitors understand the emotional impact of uncertainty in relation to unfair dismissal & disciplinary action and we will handle your case with the utmost empathy and determination to defend your rights.

From the first moment you speak to one of our employment law solicitors, we will listen to your case carefully and with the greatest of empathy. Furthermore, we understand that unfair dismissal and disciplinary matters need to be managed with the utmost confidentiality.

Our partnership with HR Specialists Talbot Pierce

Lavelle Partners work with Talbot Pierce to provide a seamless service in respect of Human Resource Management. Talbot Pierce is a team of specialist HR professionals who work with us on a range of matters including advice on and delivery of conflict/dispute resolution solutions, best-practice HR strategies, policies and procedures.

Speak to our unfair dismissal and constructive dismissal solicitors in Dublin now*

For clear, friendly legal advice on dealing with unfair dismissal, constructive dismissal and disciplinary proceedings, please contact our expert team now.

*Please note that fees apply to all consultations and advice cannot be given free of charge. 

Please get in touch with one of our specialists