Essential points

There are two types of dismissal recognised in Irish law:

  • Unfair dismissal: governed by the Unfair Dismissals Acts 1977-2015. To bring a claim, the employee will generally (subject to some exceptions) need to have to have one year’s continuous service with their employer. Such claims are brought at first instance before the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC).
  • Wrongful dismissal: arises at common law and is based on a breach of ordinary contract law. Claims are brought before the Circuit Court or High Court and there is no qualifying time period.

CIPD member content

This content is only available for CIPD members

Please note

​While every care has been taken in compiling this content, the CIPD cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. These notes are not intended to be a substitute for specific legal advice.

law advice

Want more employment law advice? Members can take out a discounted subscription to HR-inform for additional resources.

Callout Image

More on this topic


Discover how you can avoid issues when dismissing people, including termination of contract and unfair dismissal.

More employment law resources

Employment law
Work Life Balance: Ireland employment law

Information on the law relating to remote working, medical care leave, domestic abuse, work life balance and the right to disconnect

For Members
Employment law
Gender Pay Gap: Ireland employment law

Information on the Gender Pay Gap Information Act 2021 and the EU Pay Transparency Directive

For Members
Employment law
Equality: Ireland employment law

Information on the law relating to equality, including how it applies to disability, pregnancy and age discrimination

For Members
Employment law
Brexit FAQs for people professionals

Answers to frequently asked questions on the impact of Brexit in Ireland

For Members