What happens if my employer ends my contract without giving me any notice?

It depends on the reason for ending the contract. If the reason is because of 'gross misconduct' (i.e. very serious misconduct), the law may allow dismissal without notice – that is, a 'summary dismissal'. Even if you are dismissed for gross misconduct, you may have a claim for unfair dismissal, particularly if there is no proper investigation and disciplinary hearing. If your employer was not entitled to end the contract immediately, you will have the right to bring a claim for breach of contract in an employment tribunal or a civil court.

Claims to a tribunal for unpaid notice – in breach of contract – do not require any qualifying service. This type of claim is known as 'wrongful dismissal'.

If you are dismissed just before you acquire sufficient service to bring an unfair dismissal claim, the tribunal has the power to extend service by up to a week. You need two years’ service to bring most kinds of unfair dismissal claim.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.

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