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Unfair Dismissal

An unfair dismissal is one of the most common issues raised by an employee that can result in high legal fees, financial claims and many internal and public problems. Being a part of a NEACI agreement means that a member company can engage with an Industry Relationship Specialist to act appropriately and avoid any issues. 

As an example, a subcontracting company on a Category 1 project dismissed an employee via email believing this decision could not be challenged as the employee had not been working for the company long enough and therefore could not claim unfair dismissal at an employment tribunal.

When the ECIA became aware of the issue, the company was contacted by an IR Specialist and was explained that the employee’s terms and conditions of employment were in accordance with NAECI. Included in those terms (NAECI section 14) is a process that allows those with less than two years of service (the qualifying service needed to make an unfair dismissal claim at an employment tribunal) an opportunity to raise a grievance which ultimately could be put before a Panel of National Joint Council members. The Panel has the authority, among others, to order reinstatement without loss of pay if they feel an employee has been unfairly dismissed and ECIA member companies are bound by such decisions. 

The member company was advised that there was a likelihood of this challenge being successful and the timeline meant that the Employer could be ordered to pay over 3 months’ wages and re-employ the worker.

The ECIA offered to act as a conduit between the employee’s representatives and the employer and managed to get the parties to agree that the employee would remain dismissed and a 4-week wage payment be made to resolve the matter with no further action.

Being a member of the ECIA provides employees and employers protection and the regional IR Specialists are prepared to support and resolve any case. Do approach us prior to making decisions to avoid any dispute.