Ill-Health Dismissal

If an employer terminates an employee’s contract of employment on the grounds of ill health, this is usually viewed as termination on the grounds of Capability and is one of the potentially fair reasons for dismissal.   

See Dismissal

LRA Guidance -  Advice on managing sickness absence

Illegal Contracts

A contract of employment may be viewed as illegal, if for example, an employee and employer agree that part of the employee’s pay will be paid in cash and not subject to deductions of Income Tax and National Insurance.  In this case the parties to the contract are seeking to defraud a third party, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs and in this instance the employee will generally be unable to invoke the benefits of employment legislation.  In practice, an employee who is knowingly participating in an illegal contract would be unable to pursue rights, such as taking a claim for Unfair Dismissal if the employment is terminated.  A contract may be illegal from the outset, or become illegal because of the mode in which it is carried out.  

Illegal Working

The Home Office has updated guidelines on illegal working checks including information on illegal working offences which were recently introduced by the Immigration Act 2016. The new guidelines highlight two new criminal offences:

Implied Contractual Terms

An implied contractual term refers to a term which is generally not expressly stated in a Written Statement of Employment Particulars, or other contractual documents, but which is none-the-less binding on the parties to a contract.  For example, employers have an implied duty to provide their employees with a safe working environment.  Employees have an implied duty not to do anything that would undermine their employer’s reputation or competitive advantage, for example, disclosing trade secrets to a competitor.  A breach of an implied term could result in disciplinary or dismissal against an employee or in the instance of an employer carrying out the breach, lead an employee to take action for breach of contract and/or constructive dismissal.

See Contracts of EmploymentBreach of Contract


It is easy to forget that the selection process is only the beginning of the employment relationship and the future of that relationship depends to a considerable extent on how the new employee is settled into the job.  In general there is a higher rate of labour turnover among new employees.  A good induction programme makes business sense, whatever the size of the organization, and whatever the job. I nduction does not need to be a very formal process but it needs to be properly managed. I n many organizations it will be carried out informally by the new start's manager or supervisor on a day-to-day basis.  Nevertheless, having a structured checklist to follow is useful for both parties. Most induction will consist of meeting and talking with new colleagues, watching activities and asking questions. It may be appropriate to provide certain information in written form; and if the organization has a company handbook, this can often act as an aide memoire covering important aspects of the company organization and how it functions.

Induction Checklist

Industrial Actionhttps://www.lra.org.uk/a-to-z/s/secondary-industrial-action

Industrial Action is a concerted stoppage of work, or action short of strike that is taken by employees in contemplation or furtherance of a Trade Dispute.  Official Industrial Action is action which is called by someone who is authorised to do so by the Trade Union’s Rule Book.  Unofficial Industrial Action is action which is called by someone who is not authorised to do so and is viewed as unlawful.  In order to preserve immunity from legal action by an employer a Trade Union must take steps to repudiate unofficial industrial action.  Lawful industrial action is action which has been carried out in response to a ballot for Industrial Action.  

DfE Code of Practice - Industrial Action Ballots and notice to Employers  

Employers -

Industrial disputes

Inform and consult your employees

Trade Unions

Employees -

Industrial Action

Industrial Action and the Law and the right to Prevent Disruption

See Repudiation of Industrial Action and Secondary Industrial Action  

Information Commissioner

The Information Commissioner is the UK's independent public body set up to promote access to official information and protect personal information by promoting good practice, ruling on eligible complaints, providing information to individuals and organisations, and taking appropriate action when the law is broken.

See Data Protection

Information Commissioner

Insolvency of Employer

Although there are different types of insolvency, an organisation usually becomes insolvent because their debts exceed the value of the company’s assets or the company does have enough finance to cover its debts.  Terms associated with insolvency include Administration, Liquidation or in the instance of a partnership or Sole Trader, Bankruptcy.  Individuals working in an insolvent company may be entitled to Redundancy Payments.  

LRA Insolvency Information Pack

Employees - Your rights if your employer is insolvent

Employers - Help meeting redundancy costs for employers in financial difficulty

Interim Relief

An employee who believes they have been dismissed for one of the reasons listed below can lodge a claim for Interim Relief to the Industrial Tribunal and if upheld will result in a reinstatement/re-engagement order where the employee is paid their normal wages or salary until the full dismissal hearing.  A claim for interim relief must be brought within 7 days of the dismissal and can be brought when the employee believes the dismissal was for:

  • carrying out  or proposing to carry out their functions a safety representative, or member of a safety committee
  • carrying out their functions as an elected work force representative in relation to Working Time Regulations
  • carrying out their functions as an Occupational Pension trustee
  • being or not being a member of an independent Trade Union or for taking part in the activities of a Trade Union
  • making a Protected Disclosure
  • supporting or not supporting an application for Trade Union Recognition
  • exercising or seeking to exercise their right to be accompanied at a disciplinary or grievance hearing or acting/seeking to act as a companion for a colleague

Unfairly dismissed

Telephone Enquiry Point

The Agency’s Enquiry Point is available to employers, employees, trade unions and others. Enquiry Point advisors provide information and advice on a wide range of employment matters. The Enquiry Point is also an important contact point for identifying circumstances, or clients, who would benefit from being referred to other Agency services.

The Enquiry Point provides clear, confidential, independent and impartial advice to assist the caller in resolving issues in the workplace.

While the advisors cannot provide a legal opinion they can help callers gain a better understanding of their rights and responsibilities as well as identifying possible options to help resolve their issues.

028 9032 1442

Monday - Friday 9.00am to 5.00pm

Contact Us

Please note that we cannot deal with employment-related enquiries by e-mail. To receive information or advice about an employment-related issue, please telephone our Helpline on Belfast 90 321442 where an officer will speak with you directly about your query. Please note that the Agency can arrange the services of an interpreter if required.

If you have an employment relations issue in Great Britain please contact the ACAS Helpline on 0300 123 1100 .

For all non-employment related queries or questions please fill in the box below.