Thank you. I presume you meant 2017 so I will continue on that basis.
If an employee has been continuously employed with their employer for at least 2 years they will be protected against unfair dismissal. This means that to fairly dismiss them the employer has to show that there was a potentially fair reason for dismissal and that a fair dismissal procedure was followed.
According to the Employment Rights Act 1996 there are five separate reasons that an employer could rely on to show that a dismissal was fair: conduct, capability, redundancy, illegality or some other substantial reason (SOSR). The employer will not only need to show that the dismissal was for one of those reasons, but also justify that it was appropriate and reasonable to use in the circumstances. In addition, they need to ensure that a fair dismissal procedure was followed and that the outcome was one that a reasonable employer would have come to in the circumstances.
In terms of legal representation you do not have the right to such, but you do have the right to be accompanied by a colleague or trade union rep at any dismissal meeting. If the employer has failed to follow a fair procedure or provide a fair reason for the dismissal, then it could make the dismissal potentially unfair and it can be challenged.
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