How to Handle a Dismissal Appeal After an Employee has been Dismissed

28 August 2015 | Dismissal

A dismissal appeal is a formal process undertaken by an employee who believes their termination from employment was unjustified. This procedure allows the employee to challenge their dismissal and present their case for reconsideration. Furthermore, the appeal typically must be lodged within a specific timeframe and follows a set procedure outlined by the employer or relevant laws.

Dealing with a dismissal appeal can be a complex process, requiring careful consideration of legal and procedural requirements. Here’s a guide to help you understand the process and avoid any issues in the future.

Dismissal Appeal

A dismissal appeal is a formal process by which an employee challenges a decision made by their employer to terminate their employment. When an employee is dismissed from their job, they may have the right to appeal the decision if they believe it was unfair, unjust, or made in error

Employment Tribunal

An employment tribunal is a legal body in the United Kingdom that hears cases related to employment disputes. These disputes can cover a wide range of issues, including unfair dismissal, discrimination, breach of contract, and redundancy payments. Employment tribunals provide a forum for individuals and employers to resolve disputes regarding employment rights and obligations in a fair and impartial manner. They operate independently of the courts and are designed to be accessible to both employers and employees without the need for expensive legal representation.


The ACAS Code refers to the “Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service” Code of Practice. ACAS is an independent public body in the United Kingdom that provides free and impartial advice to employers and employees on workplace relations and employment law.

The ACAS Code of Practice offers practical guidance on various aspects of employment relations, such as disciplinary and grievance procedures. It sets out standards of fairness and best practice that employers should follow when handling disciplinary and grievance issues in the workplace.

Employment tribunals in the UK often take the ACAS Code into account when considering cases related to disciplinary or grievance procedures. While failure to comply with the ACAS Code does not, in itself, make an employer liable to legal action, it can influence tribunal decisions and may lead to adjustments in compensation awards if a tribunal finds that a breach of the Code has occurred. Therefore, adherence to the ACAS Code is considered essential for employers to demonstrate procedural fairness and to minimize the risk of legal disputes.

Disciplinary appeals refer to the process by which an employee challenges a disciplinary decision made by their employer. When an employer imposes disciplinary action, such as a warning, suspension, demotion, or dismissal, the affected employee may have the right to appeal against that decision.

Disciplinary Appeal

The disciplinary appeal process typically involves the following steps:

  1. Notification: The employee receives written notification of the disciplinary decision, along with information on their right to appeal.
  2. Submission of appeal: The employee submits a formal appeal, usually in writing, outlining the grounds for their appeal and providing any relevant evidence or supporting documentation.
  3. Appeal hearing: The employer arranges an appeal hearing to review the employee’s case. The hearing is often conducted by a different manager or panel than those involved in the initial disciplinary decision to ensure impartiality.
  4. Presentation of case: At the appeal hearing, the employee presents their case, including reasons why they believe the disciplinary decision was unfair or disproportionate. They may also call witnesses or submit additional evidence to support their appeal.
  5. Employer’s response: The employer responds to the employee’s appeal, presenting their rationale for the original disciplinary decision and addressing any points raised by the employee.
  6. Decision: Following the appeal hearing, the employer considers all the evidence and arguments presented before making a final decision on the disciplinary matter. This decision is communicated to the employee in writing.
  7. Further recourse: If the employee remains dissatisfied with the outcome of the appeal, they may have further recourse, such as lodging a formal complaint with an external body or pursuing legal action through an employment tribunal.

Disciplinary appeals are an important part of ensuring procedural fairness and allowing employees to challenge decisions they believe to be unjust or unreasonable. Employers are generally expected to conduct appeal processes in accordance with relevant laws, company policies, and principles of natural justice

Employment Solicitor

An employment solicitor is a legal professional who specializes in employment law. They provide legal advice and representation to both employees and employers on a wide range of employment-related matters. Employment solicitors assist clients in navigating complex employment laws and regulations, ensuring compliance with legal requirements, and protecting their rights and interests in the workplace.

Settlement Agreement

A settlement agreement, also known as a compromise agreement in the UK, is a legally binding contract between an employer and an employee that sets out the terms and conditions under which the employment relationship will be terminated or resolved.

In a settlement agreement, the employer typically offers the employee a sum of money or other benefits in exchange for the employee agreeing not to pursue any further claims or legal action against the employer arising from their employment or its termination. This can include waiving the right to bring claims such as unfair dismissal, discrimination, breach of contract, or redundancy.

Successful Appeal

A successful appeal in the context of employment typically refers to a situation where an employee challenges a disciplinary decision, grievance outcome, or other adverse employment action, and the appeal results in a favorable outcome for the employee.

For example, if an employee is dismissed from their job following a disciplinary hearing and they appeal the decision, a successful appeal would entail the employer overturning the dismissal and reinstating the employee to their position or offering an alternative resolution that is satisfactory to the employee.

Similarly, in the case of a grievance, if an employee raises a complaint about a workplace issue and the initial grievance outcome is not satisfactory, a successful appeal would involve the employer reconsidering the matter and providing a resolution that addresses the employee’s concerns.

Gross Misconduct

Gross misconduct refers to serious behaviour or actions by an employee that are so severe that they fundamentally breach the terms of their employment contract and undermine the employment relationship. These actions are typically considered to be so serious that they can warrant immediate termination of employment without notice or payment in lieu of notice.

Appeal Hearing

An appeal hearing is a formal process where an individual who has been subject to a disciplinary decision or adverse outcome, such as dismissal, has the opportunity to challenge that decision. During an appeal hearing, the individual (appellant) presents their case to a panel or decision-maker, typically a different person or group from those involved in the initial decision-making process. The purpose of the appeal hearing is to review the original decision and consider whether it was fair, reasonable, and justified in light of the circumstances.

Appeal Officer

An appeal officer is an individual designated to oversee the appeal process within an organization or institution. Their role is to impartially review appeals made by employees or other parties dissatisfied with decisions made at lower levels of authority, such as disciplinary decisions, grievance outcomes, or administrative rulings.

Employment Law Advice

Here are some basic pieces of employment law advice:

  1. Know your rights: Familiarize yourself with your employment rights and obligations under relevant legislation, such as the Employment Rights Act, the Equality Act, and the Working Time Regulations. Understanding your rights empowers you to advocate for fair treatment in the workplace.
  2. Review your employment contract: Read and understand your employment contract, including terms related to salary, working hours, holidays, notice periods, and disciplinary procedures. If you have any questions or concerns about the terms of your contract, seek clarification from your employer or a legal advisor.
  3. Keep records: Maintain thorough records of important employment-related documents, such as contracts, payslips, performance evaluations, and correspondence with your employer. These records can be valuable in resolving disputes or asserting your rights in the future.

Disciplinary Hearing

A disciplinary hearing is a formal meeting conducted by an employer to address allegations of misconduct or poor performance by an employee. The purpose of a disciplinary hearing is to provide the employee with an opportunity to respond to the allegations, present their side of the story, and defend themselves against the accusations.

The Importance of Legal Advice

It’s important to get legal advice for several reasons, particularly in matters relating to employment:

  1. Understanding your rights: Employment law can be complex and vary depending on jurisdiction and individual circumstances. Legal advice can help you understand your rights and obligations under relevant laws and regulations, empowering you to make informed decisions about your employment situation.
  2. Protection against unfair treatment: Legal advice can help you identify instances of unfair treatment or potential violations of your rights by your employer. This may include issues such as discrimination, harassment, wrongful dismissal, or breaches of contract.
  3. Guidance on navigating legal processes: Legal advisors can provide guidance on the steps to take and the procedures to follow when dealing with employment-related issues, such as disciplinary proceedings, grievance procedures, or negotiating settlement agreements. They can help you navigate complex legal processes and ensure that your interests are protected throughout.

Appeal Letter

An appeal letter is a formal written communication submitted by an individual who wishes to challenge a decision made by an authority, such as an employer, academic institution, government agency, or court. The purpose of an appeal letter is to present arguments, provide additional information, or request a review of the decision in question.

Complaints Procedure

A complaints procedure is a formal process established by an organization to address and resolve complaints or grievances raised by employees, customers, clients, or other stakeholders. The purpose of a complaint’s procedure is to provide individuals with a mechanism for voicing concerns, seeking redress for issues they have experienced, and promoting accountability and improvement within the organization.

Appeal Outcome

An appeal outcome refers to the decision or resolution reached following the review of an appeal process. When an individual submits an appeal challenging a previous decision, such as a disciplinary outcome, grievance decision, or other administrative ruling, the appeal outcome represents the final determination made after considering the grounds for appeal, any new evidence presented, and relevant factors.

Appeal Stage

An appeal stage refers to a phase or step within a formal process where individuals have the opportunity to challenge a decision made by an authority, such as an employer, court, or administrative body. The appeal stage typically follows an initial decision or ruling and provides a mechanism for review and reconsideration of that decision.

In conclusion, a dismissal appeal serves as a vital safeguard in ensuring fairness and accountability within the workplace. By providing employees with the opportunity to challenge decisions that affect their employment status, it promotes transparency, procedural fairness, and the protection of individual rights. Through a structured review process, dismissal appeals allow for the reconsideration of dismissal decisions, the correction of errors, and the exploration of alternative resolutions. Ultimately, the dismissal appeal process plays a crucial role in fostering trust, maintaining employee morale, and upholding the principles of justice in employment relationships.

Contact Us

If you would like support with a dismissal appeal in your business, contact us.

Are you ready to elevate your HR strategies?

Connect with our expert team for tailored solutions and insights. Call The HR Booth at 01383 668178 or reach out via email at or use the contact form.

Let’s transform your human resources approach together!

Privacy Preference Center