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The Employment Rights Advice Blog

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What to do if you are unfairly dismissed from your employment.

10 Point Guide

person walking in street and banner stating unfairly dismissed ?If you feel you have been unfairly dismissed in Ireland, this quick 10 point guide will help you decide whether to make a claim for unfair dismissal or not.

Let’s look at the main points of unfair dismissal law in Ireland and what decisions you have to make.



1. Are you an employee?

Your employment status is vital when availing of your legal remedies. Check your employment contract. Some workers are engaged as self employed contractors. For more see If in doubt ask us.

2. Have you been employed for at least 12 months ?

The protection of the unfair dismissal acts applies to workers who have been employed for a minimum of twelve months.





3. Have you been dismissed for automatically unfair reasons ?

Unfair dismissal legislation in Ireland lists the following grounds as being automatically unfair:

  • Membership of a trade union or related activity

  • Religious or political opinions

  • Legal proceedings against an employer, either as a party or witness.

  • Race, colour, sexual orientation, age or membership of the traveller community

  • Pregnancy,giving birth, breastfeeding or any connected matters

  • Availing of your rights to take leave under the various employment law provisions.

  • Unfair selection for redundancy

  • Your actions under the protected disclosures Act 2014


4. Have you been dismissed on fair grounds for dismissal ?

The grounds for dismissing an employee in Ireland which are considered fair are the following:

  • Capability

  • Competence

  • Qualifications

  • Conduct

  • Redundancy

  • Contravening the law

  • Other substantial grounds

For more see


5. Have you the required length of service ?

As stated at No:2 above, you must have at least 12 months continuous service, however there are exceptions. If you can bring a claim under equality legislation, you do not have to have 12 months service. For more see

6. Have you been dismissed ?

Your employer may argue that you resigned. See constructive dismissal here

7. Are you in an excluded category ?

Certain categories of employees are excluded from availing of the provisions of the unfair dismissal acts. See here for a list of the excluded categories






8. Are you in time ?

There is a strict six month time limit from the date of dismissal, within which to lodge a claim. That is why we say, don’t delay, act today. Time flies and you do not want to miss the deadline.

9. Remedies

There are three options open to you, reinstatement, re-engagement or compensation.

10. How to claim

It sounds simple to say, go to the website of the workplace relations commission and use their online form to make a claim. There is a lot of work involved in preparing your claim. You need to ensure that you have claimed for all of your entitlements. Do you have sufficient evidence to win your case? Have you gathered enough evidence/ information to assist the adjudicator in calculating your loss? These are just some of the issues affecting you when deciding to proceed with your claim for unfair dismissal. Our advice to you is not to do it on your own. We have over thirty years experience in employment law in Ireland. We are here to help. Contact us today using the orange Yes! Tell Me More button below.. The first consultation is free.




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