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06 September 2001

Dismissal - know your rights
Important changes to the law on dismissal in recent years mean that it is vital for union representatives and activists to have clear, comprehensive and up-to-date information on the law on dismissal.

Many more employees now have the right to protection from unfair dismissal since the lowering of the service qualification for the right to take a dismissal claim from two years to one. There has also been a significant increase in the maximum compensation payable for a successful claim.

In addition, May 2001 heralded the start of a new arbitration scheme, giving workers who feel they have been unfairly dismissed an alternative to going to an employment tribunal.

The LRD's new booklet Dismissal - a legal guide provides just this information. It gives guidance on the basic law on dismissal. And it provides information on the various categories of dismissal, including unfair dismissal, constructive dismissal and wrongful dismissal.

Almost 50,000 workers last year submitted an unfair dismissal claim to an employment tribunal as a result of the injustice that they felt about their dismissal. Taking a claim to an employment tribunal can be a time-consuming and difficult process, so employees and their representatives need a clearly-written guide to the law to assist them with their application. Many people negotiate a settlement with their employer, and to achieve a satisfactory outcome, it is also vital to have a good grasp of the law.

Some workers may prefer to use the new, simpler binding arbitration scheme - designed to be quicker and more informal than the tribunal process. The booklet provides full details of how and when to use the new scheme.

Notes to editors

1. Dismissal - a legal guide is published by the Labour Research Department, 78 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 8HF, price ?3.50 or ?10 for employers/commercial organisations. LRD booklets are also available on subscription at an annual cost of ?27.75 (?71.00 for employers/ commercial organisations). LRD publishes 10-11 booklets each year.

2. The Labour Research Department is an independent trade union and labour movement organisation founded 89 years ago. More than 1,800 trade union organisations, including 55 national unions, representing 99% of total TUC membership, are affiliated.

3. For press enquiries on this booklet contact Sonia McKay, LRD's employment law researcher, on 020 7902 9827. For general enquiries about LRD booklets contact the editor, Tessa Wright, on 020 7902 9817. To order copies of the booklet telephone 020 7928 3649.

4. Full information about all of LRD's services and publications is available on the recently redesigned LRD website at www.lrd.org.uk.

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