An essential element of a worker’s protection against unjustified dismissal is the right of appeal. The national legislation often provides diverse remedies in case an employee wishes to contest a dismissal. For example, failure to have valid grounds for dismissal where required, or breach of the procedural requirements, may give an employee the right to claim various types of compensation or even nullify the dismissal. In some cases, reinstatement in employment is possible.
The right of appeal is outlined in Convention No. 158. Article 8 provides that “a worker who considers that his employment has been unjustifiably terminated shall be entitled to appeal against that termination to an impartial body, such as a court, labour tribunal, arbitration committee or arbitrator”. Article 9 offers further guidance on the procedures to be applied where a worker seeks to exercise his or her right of appeal, stating that the impartial bodies “shall be empowered to examine the reasons given for termination and the other circumstances relating to the case and to render a decision on whether the termination was justified”. Article 10 provides that in certain circumstances, if the competent bodies find that termination is unjustified, “they shall be empowered to order payment of adequate compensation or such other relief as may be deemed appropriate”.