Add a note hereKey points
§  Add a note hereSections 104 and 105 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 protect employees who are dismissed (or selected for redundancy) for complaining that their employer has infringed one or other of their statutory rights in employment. The dismissal of an employee in such circumstances will be treated as automatically unfair if the reason for it (or, if more than one, the principal reason) was that the employee:
a.     Add a note herehad brought proceedings against his (or her) employer to enforce a right of his that is a relevant statutory right; or
b.    Add a note herealleged that the employer had infringed a right of his (or hers) that is a relevant statutory right.
Add a note hereFurthermore, an employee dismissed in such circumstances may present a complaint of unfair dismissal to an employment tribunal regardless of his (or her) age or length of service at the material time (ibid. sections 108 and 109).
§  Add a note hereIt is as well to point out that such a dismissal will be treated as unfair even if the employee was not entitled to the disputed right, and regardless of whether the employer had actually infringed that right or not. If the employee made his claim 'in good faith', he (or she) should not have been dismissed for doing so. Indeed, the same protection applies even if the employee was uncertain or confused about the precise right he claims had been infringed – so long as he had made it reasonably clear to his employer what that right was.
Add a note hereMeaning of 'relevant statutory right'
Add a note hereThe following statutory rights are relevant for these purposes, namely:
a.  Add a note hereany rights conferred by the Employment Rights Act 1996, (discussed throughout this handbook) for which the remedy for their infringement is by way of a complaint or reference to an employment tribunal;
Note 
Add a note hereThose rights include the right to be paid the appropriate national minimum wage rate and the right of the employee (where appropriate) to be paid tax credits through the payroll (ibid. sections 104A and 104B, as inserted, respectively, by the National Minimum Wage Act 1998 and the Tax Credits Act 2002).
b.  Add a note herethe right of an employee to a minimum period of notice (as conferred by section 86 of the Employment Rights Act 1996);
c.  Add a note hererights conferred by the Working Time Regulations 1998 (the limit in working hours, and the right to daily and weekly rest breaks and rest periods, in-work rest breaks, and paid annual holidays);
d.  Add a note hererights conferred by the Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000;
e.  Add a note hererights conferred by the Fixed-term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2002;
f.   Add a note herethe following rights (conferred by the Trade Union & Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992), namely:
§  Add a note herethe right of an employee to stop the deduction of union dues from his or her pay (ibid. section 68);
§  Add a note herethe right of an exempt employee to demand that no amount representing a contribution to a trade union political fund be deducted from his or her pay (ibid. section 86);
§  Add a note herethe right of an employee not to have action short of dismissal taken against him (or her) as an individual on grounds related to his trade union membership or activities or because of his refusal to be or remain a member of a particular trade union or of any trade union (ibid. section 146);
§  Add a note herethe right of an official of a recognised independent trade union to be permitted paid time off work to carry out his or her duties as such an official (ibid. sections 168 and 169);
§  Add a note herethe right of an employee who is a member of a recognised independent trade union to be permitted a reasonable amount of time off work in order to take part in appropriate activities of that trade union (ibid. section 170).
Add a note hereTime limit for proceedings
§  Add a note hereAs was indicated earlier in this section, an employee who has been dismissed (or selected for redundancy) for asserting a statutory right may present a complaint of unfair dismissal regardless of his (or her) age or length of service at the material time. The complaint must be presented to an employment tribunal within three months of the effective date of termination of the employee's contract of employment. A tribunal will not hear a complaint presented out of time unless satisfied that it was not reasonably practicable for the complainant to have done so within the three-month limit (ibid. section 111(2)). If the employee's complaint is upheld, the employer will be ordered either to reinstate or re-engage the employee and/or to pay compensation.

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