Many thanks for your patience. 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.
It is extremely unlikely they can justify the dismissal for any of the above reasons considering the current situation and the reasons for you not being in work.
You now have 3 months to take this to the Employment Tribunal to claim for unfair dismissal.
Before a person can make a claim in the employment tribunal, they would be required to participate in mandatory early conciliation through the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS).
The purpose of this process is to allow ACAS to mediate between the claimant and respondent to agree on an out of court settlement in order to avoid the need for legal action in tribunal. The respondent does not have to engage in these discussions, or if they do and the talks are unsuccessful, the claimant will be issued with a certificate allowing them to make a claim.
However, if a settlement is reached, the claimant would agree not to proceed with the claim in return for the agreed financial settlement. Other terms can also be agreed as part of the settlement, such as an agreed reference.
To initiate the conciliation procedure ACAS can be contacted online by filling in the following form (https://ec.acas.org.uk/Submission/SingleClaimantPage), or by phone on 0300 123 1100.
If the conciliation process was not successful and you then wanted to make a formal claim in tribunal, you can do so here: