Claims for Unfair Dismissal : What to bring to your first meeting with your Solicitor

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Claims for Unfair Dismissal : What to bring to your first meeting with your SolicitorEmployees who have been dismissed may require legal advice as to whether or not grounds exist to support a claim against their previous employer under unfair dismissal, equality or legislation applicable to their circumstances.

It is important for a claimant to decide whether or not to make a claim against his/her employer at an early stage.  Aside from the time and emotional investment of making such a claim, there are strict time limits within which such claims must be made (usually 6 months).  In order to get the most out of your meeting and for your solicitor to advise you fully, s/he will need to know the full circumstances surrounding the termination of your employment and will need copies of all relevant documentation.

Whilst every case is different, generally speaking your solicitor will need the following documents to advise you as to whether or not you have a claim:-

  1. A brief summary of the history of your employment, including a list of individuals involved and a note of their role within the organisation;
  2. Your original employment contract and any contracts amending same;
  3. Most recent employment law handbook given to employees;
  4. Your employer’s disciplinary procedure (if not included at No. 2 above);
  5. A copy of all warning letters, reports and findings of investigations;
  6. Copies of all company policies;
  7. If your claim relates to bullying and harassment, copies of all relevant emails; reports/findings from investigation;
  8. If you suffered physical injury from any event, copies of all sick notes, medical reports and x-rays.

If you have a soft copy of the documents, we would suggest that you forward them to your solicitor by email in advance of the meeting so that s/he can be fully prepared.

It is important to note it often happens that employees do not have all of the above documents at the time of an initial consultation but that they require legal advice urgently due to the time limits involved.  In such circumstances, if your solicitor is of the view from what you say that you do, in fact, have a claim, s/he could assist you in filing a complaint form in the Workplace Relations Commission to ‘stop the time’ from running which would give you time to obtain all relevant documents.  It is always open to a claimant to withdraw his/her claim prior to a hearing at no risk of having to pay the employer’s legal costs.

If you would like to arrange an initial consultation to discuss whether or not grounds exist for a claim against your employer under unfair dismissal or equality legislation, please contact Deirdre Farrell of Amorys Solicitors, Suite 10, The Mall, Beacon Court, Sandyford, Dublin 18, tel 01 2135940, email: