Dismissal without pay in lieu of notice

My partner has just been summarily dismissed from his employment with immediate effect and has been told that he will not receive any pay in lieu of notice. I’ve had a quick fly round the web and it looks like this might not be legal. I can’t find the legislation for it though. Can someone point me in the right direction please? R-

This page from the Government has some good information


Get them to call ACAS on Monday. Citizens Advice is also good.

I’ve found Reddit has a great legal advice forum, too. A search there will bring up the answer you’re looking for.



It depends what they’ve done (or alleged). An employer can terminate a contract without notice in a number of circumstances depending on whether it was a breach of contract or misconduct etc.

My advice would be to look at the company’s disciplinary /dismissal policy and make sure the employer has followed their policy. A successful challenge to dismissal is more likely where the company has breached their own policy. Also check the ACAS guidelines to make sure the company policy is consistent.


There are few cases where that kind of instant dismissal is allowed and those would be listed in the contract (generally gross professional misconduct). Otherwise there should be written warnings etc. and dismissal would be the end of a process.

If the company is just short of cash then they still owe the money for the notice period.

Thanks all for the helpful replies. ACAS template appeal letter sent and we will call on Monday. I’m not sure now that the employer has done anything wrong - but I just feel the need to check. Plus the cash would be handy. R-

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Yes immediate dismissal would tend to suggest gross misconduct - depends on the organisation policy or procedures.
Thinks can include - fraud - including false information given on recruitment, stealing, some types of harassment.

It’s unusual that the person won’t know clearly what the reason is. Usually you would be presented verbally or in writing and given the appeals process.

Have HR given any explanation?

This page also has some information too:

Broadly, my understanding is that there should be some form of statutory notice period (and pay), or whatever is listed in the contract (whichever is longest).

As you say Summary Dismissal, (i.e. alleged gross misconduct) - PILON doesn’t apply, however the business should need to go through a procedure to do this.

A bit more info here:


This dismissal could therefore be unfair dismissal, if they haven’t followed the correct proceedings (as determined by HR policies), or the reasoning for the alleged gross misconduct are not neccesarily appropriate. (i.e. dismissal needs to be an appropraite and proportionate repsonse to whatever the alleged misconduct was).

So check the company procedures, and check what your SO has been told, and (if you feel inclined) look into an unfair dismissal claim.


The “gross misconduct” outcome is, in our view, harsh. There was no organisational damage, no theft, fraud or violence and no insubordination. Awaiting sight of contract of employment, terms and conditions of employment and company disciplinary procedures information. Thanks again all for the information. R-

How long had your partner worked there?

6 years - 5 in a leadership role. R-

That makes a big difference. Under 2 years and they’d have a lot less rights

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An example would be someone saying they had a first degree and the job was granted on this and it is later found to be that person had only a 2:2.
This would be a scenario for instant dismissal.

Hope your able to get the support you need next week.

Thanks, for your support @Drew58. Nothing so lofty. :grinning: We will dig deeper. R-

There could be some ‘grey area’ reasons too that are being punished harshly - things like misuse of company IT could fall under scope,

And probably a lot of industry and business specific things - but again things along these lines are why there are procedures, because these would be relatively easily challenged via Tribunal.

Hope the company policies will give you some ammo, and in case you haven’t found these links yet - info about an employment tribunal and legal tests that must be satisfied:

Link 1 - Link 2

A lack of investigation, or proper procedure being followed gives you some benefit there.

There’s a 3 month window in which you can open a unfair dismissal case, so worth thinking about.

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Thank you @BritishLibrary - very helpful insight to Tribunal processes. R-

Losing employment suddenly is always a shitty time so lots of sympathy from me :heart:

Obviously very limited information to go on here but from what I’ve read this sounds like it’s likely to be completely legal.

If you genuinely feel there is a miscarriage of justice in your situation then I’d encourage using the resources ACAS has available. Of course, in order to overturn anything you will have to be able to provide evidence that your partners dismissal was unfair. I’ve probably been directly involved in about 200 dismissals in my career* and not seen any overturned yet but there are plenty of examples of companies getting it wrong and you should absolutely pursue this as far as you can if you think this applies to you.

*Err, from the HR side - I haven’t been dismissed 200 times personally! :man_facepalming:t3:


Got to ask. What were they dismissed for? :eyes:

Kinda haven’t. :smirk:


Can’t find out if I don’t ask.