Introduction to this document

Dismissal for taking part in industrial action

This letter covers situations where the taking part in an unofficial industrial action has led to a serious breach of contract equivalent to gross misconduct which justifies you dismissing the employee without notice.

When can you fairly dismiss?

Each case must be treated on its own merits and this letter also includes an option to give notice which may be appropriate depending on the circumstances. Note that some industrial action may not be a breach of contract at all - for example refusing to work overtime where there is no obligation to work overtime.

If the industrial action is official, a dismissal for taking industrial action will be automatically unfair and no qualifying period of employment will be required for the employee to make a claim against you.

However, you may fairly dismiss an employee for breaching their contract if they are involved in an unofficial industrial action (i.e. one which is not protected), although you must not use the situation as a way of dismissing only selected employees who are taking action or only choose to selectively re-engage.