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Introduction to this document

Statement of reasons for dismissal

A dismissed employee who has sufficient continuity of service can request a written statement of the reason for their dismissal. Where the employee is dismissed while pregnant or on a period of maternity or adoption leave, they are automatically entitled to a written statement of the reasons for dismissal without having to request it and regardless of their length of service.

Written statement of dismissal reasons

An employee is generally only entitled to receive written reasons for their dismissal where they have sufficient continuous service to claim unfair dismissal. An employee can generally make a claim for unfair dismissal if they have been employed for two years or more. You are obliged to provide the reason for dismissal within 14 days of receipt of the request. However, where the employee is dismissed while pregnant or on a period of ordinary or additional maternity or adoption leave, they are entitled to a written statement of the reasons for their dismissal without having to request it and regardless of their length of employment. Use the statement of reasons for dismissal, which can be adapted to cover either scenario. If you unreasonably refuse to provide a written statement or it is inadequate or untrue, the employee can present a complaint to an employment tribunal.

Evidence

Note that because a written statement can be used as evidence in any subsequent employment tribunal proceedings brought by the employee, you should take care to ensure that the reasons you give in your letter are the real reasons for the employee’s dismissal. This is because you will need to be able to rely on these reasons as your defence to the tribunal proceedings.