When a statutory procedure is not the statutory procedure

Section 98A(1) of the Employment Act 1996 means that, where one of the statutory dismissal and disciplinary procedures applies to a dismissal, and the employer fails to follow it, the dismissal will be unfair. ((Provided that the employee is eligible to claim unfair dismissal to begin with))

S98A, however, only applies to the statutory procedures laid out in the Employment Act 2002. A common confusion is to think that it applies to any statutory rule relating to a dismissal procedure. For example, the right to be accompanied to a disciplinary proceeding is a statutory right, but it is not part of the Employment Act 2002 procedure. Therefore, a breach of that right will not make a dismissal automatically unfair.

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