This is a relatively common enquiry that we receive at Direct 2 Lawyers. If you’ve recently been dismissed by your employer then you should be offered the chance to appeal against your dismissal. If you are not offered the chance to appeal against your dismissal then this may render your dismissal to be prima facie unfair. However, if you are offered the chance to appeal your dismissal then employees are often stuck with the Hobson’s choice of the embarrassing trip back to the office to deal with an assumed foregone conclusion or missing out on their chance to appeal. This post looks at whether employees can deal with their disciplinary appeal hearing in writing or whether they are required to attend the disciplinary appeal hearing. It will do so by examining the following issues:

  1. What should I do if I’ve been offered the chance to appeal my dismissal?
  2. Can I appeal against my dismissal by email or do I have to turn up?
  3. What should I do if my appeal against my dismissal fails?

What should I do if I’ve been offered the chance to appeal my dismissal?

If you’ve been offered the chance to appeal against your dismissal then you should, unless exceptional circumstances apply, submit an appeal. This serves a number of useful functions, the most obvious of which is that if you’re successful you can get your job back. Although being reinstated to your job is unlikely (and possibly improbable) it’s not impossible. So submit a written notice of appeal before the deadline that you’ve been given.

Read more: How to prepare for your disciplinary hearing

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Template: disciplinary appeal letter

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Can I appeal against my dismissal by email or do I have to turn up?

You can do either. There’s no obligation on you to attend your disciplinary appeal hearing. However, a failure to attend the disciplinary appeal hearing will normally allow your employer to conduct the hearing in your absence, unless there is a good reason for you not attending (such as you’re ill or you had an appointment arranged for that date). If you don’t inform your employer that you’re not attending and your employer goes ahead and holds the disciplinary appeal hearing in your absence then it’s almost a foregone conclusion that the appeal will fail. However, if you don’t want to attend the disciplinary hearing (because of embarrassment, illness or some other reason) it’s perfectly open to you to send written submissions by email or post to your employer prior to the disciplinary appeal hearing. Employers will normally agree to this. Your employer should bear your written submissions in mind when coming to a conclusion as to the outcome of the disciplinary appeal hearing.

Read more: How to prepare a claim for unfair dismissal

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What should I do if my appeal against my dismissal fails?

If your appeal against your dismissal fails then there’s 2 broad options open to you:

  1. Take no further action; or
  2. Submit an Employment Tribunal claim for unfair dismissal

You may wish to speak to a specialist unfair dismissal solicitor when deciding whether to submit an Employment Tribunal claim or not.

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The Direct 2 Lawyers Employment Team post daily on interesting employment law cases, Employment Tribunal judgments and Employment Appeal Tribunal judgments. All of the Employment Team posts are written by qualified specialist employment lawyers

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