Due to Coronavirus, all appointments are being held remotely via video call or phone call.
What is wrongful dismissal?
Wrongful dismissal is purely a contractual issue - the fairness of the dismissal is not looked at. A Tribunal or Court will look at the contractual obligations between yourself and your employer and whether these have been breached.
Some examples of wrongful dismissal include:
Dismissal without the required statutory or contractual notice being given
Dismissal without following contractual redundancy policy and procedures.
Dismissal without following contractual disciplinary procedures.
Wrongful Dismissal FAQs
Can I be lawfully dismissed without notice?
One of the most common wrongful dismissal claims is where an employer has dismissed their employee without giving the statutory or contractual notice. However, this doesn’t mean that the dismissal is automatically wrongful. An employer is entitled to summarily dismiss (dismiss without notice) the employee if they have committed an act of gross misconduct, such as theft or fraud.
An employer may have a Payment In Lieu of Notice (PILON) clause in their contract of employment. This allows the employer to dismiss the employee without giving notice by paying them the money they would have earned if they had worked their notice. Even if there is no PILON provision in the contract of employment an employer can still make a payment in lieu of notice. In these circumstances, if the employee has been put into the position they would have been in if they had worked their notice, then a claim for wrongful dismissal is likely to fail.
Is there a difference between wrongful dismissal and unfair dismissal?
A dismissal may be wrongful if your employer has breached the terms of your contract by dismissing you. It is based purely con contractual terms. A dismissal is unfair if there was no legally fair reason to dismiss you.
What are the time limits for wrongful dismissal claims?
You must bring a claim of wrongful dismissal to the Employment Tribunal three months less one day from the date of the dismissal. In the County or High Court, you have six years to bring a claim.
Should I bring my claim in the Employment Tribunal or County/High Court?
Breach of contract claims can be heard in a Tribunal, County Court or High Court. However, if there is also a potential unfair dismissal claim then your case can only be heard in an Employment Tribunal.
Awards for wrongful dismissal in the Employment Tribunal are capped at £25,000. You may prefer to bring your claim in the County or High Court because there are no caps on compensation and the Court can award all losses that have stemmed from the breach of contract. You also have longer to bring a claim in the County Court or High Court (see above).
What will it cost to bring a claim for wrongful dismissal?