The short answer is yes you can be dismissed, however your employer should follow a disciplinary and dismissal procedure if you are an employee.
(Generally, workers and freelancers are not covered under Disciplinary Procedures).
The Disciplinary procedure requires that:
- Firstly your Employer should let you know that you are required to attend a disciplinary hearing and tell you why.
- They also have to give you sufficient time to prepare for a disciplinary hearing so you have your own facts straight.
- You should attend the meeting, but can be accompanied by a colleague or a trade union representative (if you are a member of a Trade Union).
- After the meeting your employer has to tell you what their decision is and what the outcome is, and you have a right to appeal against this decision.
- If you appeal your employer must invite you to a further meeting and again you can be accompanied. After that meeting your employer must inform you of their decision.
If your employer does not follow a disciplinary procedure properly, or at all, and/or you think you have been treated unfairly and you have more than 12 months service then you may be able to make a claim to an Employment Tribunal for unfair dismissal (for more information their website is www.employmenttribunals.gov.uk).
There are various reasons your employer can dismiss you, but again there are procedures that need to be followed. There are some reasons for being dismissed that would be seen as automatically unfair if your employer did so and you can complain to an Employment Tribunal if you think you have been dismissed unfairly.
Your local Citizens Advice Bureau can give you advice if you are not a member of a Trade Union (www.citizensadvice.org.uk), as can ACAS (www.acas.org.uk).
If you work in the UK Media Industries and have a question about this or any other topic, please contact us.
If you are an Employer and need ongoing professional help with any staff/freelance issues then talk to us at The HR Kiosk (click here) – a Human Resources Consultancy for small businesses – you can retain us for as much time as you need.
Please note that the advice given on this website and by our Advisors is guidance only and cannot be taken as an authoritative interpretation of the law. It can also not be seen as specific advice for individual cases. Please also note that there are differences in legislation in Northern Ireland.