Help for employees facing wrongful dismissal or unfair dismissal
Employees have a legal right not to be unfairly dismissed. Wrongful dismissal and unfair dismissal are two different types of potential claims to bring in an Employment Tribunal.
Wrongful dismissal arises when your employer does not follow the terms of your employment contract when dismissing you. Wrongful dismissal is a type of breach of contract and can mean employers are unable to enforce restrictive covenants (if there are any in your contract) and other contractual terms after your dismissal. You do not have to be employed by your employer for a certain length of time (known as a ‘length of service requirement’) to make a wrongful dismissal claim.
Unfair dismissal, on the other hand, is where your employer ends your employment unfairly, either because the reason for dismissal, or the process used, was unfair. The law allows employers to dismiss employees fairly if they use both a fair procedure to dismiss you and if they rely on certain fair reasons for example your conduct or capability.
Some dismissals are what is known as ‘automatically unfair’; for example, if you are a woman dismissed for a reason related to your pregnancy or maternity leave or if your dismissal is because you are a whistle-blower. There is a long list of other reasons for dismissal that make it automatically unfair. You do not have to have worked for your employer for a particular length of time to make a claim of automatic unfair dismissal.
Except for automatically unfair dismissals, if you started work before April 6 2012 you must have a minimum of one year’s continuous service to bring a claim under the law on unfair dismissal. This has changed to two years’ continuous service for all people employed after April 6, 2012.
Constructive dismissal is a claim that you can bring if you resign in response to your employer acting in a way that amounts to a fundamental breach of your contract. To be able to succeed in a claim for constructive dismissal in a Tribunal, you must be able to prove that there was a fundamental breach of your employment contract which then caused you to resign.
An example of a situation where you may be able to bring a claim of constructive dismissal against your employer is if your employer changed your hours without your agreement you may decide to resign and claim constructive unfair dismissal.
Due to the complexity of the law in this area, we recommend seeking professional unfair dismissal advice from expert Employment Law solicitors if you believe you have been or may be unfairly dismissed.
You may have a wrongful dismissal or unfair dismissal claim due to the reason you have been dismissed or the way in which this has been done.
Unfair dismissal law is complex and we may discover that there are also discrimination issues which need to be addressed. If we cannot ensure that your employment is reinstated through an appeal process, we will seek to settle your claims through negotiation using a Settlement Agreement. We are a team of experienced Employment Law litigators and can issue proceedings on your behalf and also represent you at an Employment Tribunal.
Wrongful dismissal is usually a simpler issue to deal with as this relates to the terms of your contract. However, there are terms that can be implied into your employment contract through custom and practice and not just as written terms in your contract or other documentation and it is important to be aware of these.
Our Employment Law solicitors can investigate alternative ways of funding your case and provide expert advice to support you in making your claim.
We understand how stressful it can be to face dismissal from your job. Our experienced lawyers will take the time to understand your situation fully and provide the highest quality guidance and support throughout your claim.
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