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Safety and Health Practitioner (SHP) is first for independent health and safety news.
September 7, 2008

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Dismissals for health and safety – the legal position

Alan Sugar may have turned “You’re fired!” into one of the nation’s best-known catchphrases, but employers should think twice before dismissing staff who raise health and safety concerns. Mark Higgins examines the case law.

Dismissals for health and safety reasons represent one of the areas where employment law affords employees additional protection over and above the normal rules of unfair dismissal.

A dismissal related to health and safety will be automatically unfair, and there is no minimum length of service required before being eligible to claim. Furthermore, there is a minimum level of compensation awarded, and, unlike ‘ordinary’ unfair dismissal, in which compensation is capped at £63,000, awards for health and safety-related dismissals are unlimited.

It is worth being aware of, and keeping in mind, the various aspects of the legislation, as a case against your business is likely to bring unwanted publicity, if nothing else.


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