The law recognises there has been an employment dismissal when:
- an employee’s contract is terminated with or without notice;
- an employee terminates the contract themselves, with or without notice because of the employer’s conduct (this is known as “constructive dismissal” where you would usually resign from your job);
- a temporary (fixed-term) contract comes to an end without its renewal.
Have you had a termination of your employment contract and want to find out your options? Read on to find out more.
What is an unfair dismissal of employment?
A dismissal from employment is the termination of the employment contract. This can be quite a regular dismissal, without any malice, as it can be due to the end of a Fixed Term Contract.
However, an unfair employment dismissal is when the employer hasn’t had a valid or fair reason for sacking you, or even if they did, they didn’t fire their employee using the right procedure.
What is a constructive dismissal?
Constructive dismissal is where your employer has basically broken clauses in your contract of employment in some way. In turn, you would need to have resigned your employment because of such breach, and not be believed to have accepted the breach in any way. This is another case of termination of employment.
A delay in taking steps to claim constructive dismissal may amount to an acceptance of your employer’s breach and an affirmation of your contract, thus making a constructive dismissal claim difficult to make.
Examples of a breach by an employer includes: –
- forcing a cut in salary or other benefits;
- making it indefensible for you to work by reason of your employer’s irrational attitude
- imposing a disciplinary or performance procedure that is grossly unfair and unequal;
- changing your role or responsibilities without reason;
- suspending you without reason;
What is wrongful dismissal?
This is a breach of employment contract claim against your employer.
If your employer has breached their contractual obligations, such as, not given proper notice of dismissal in accordance with the entitlement set out in your contract of employment, then your employer becomes liable to pay you damages for wrongful dismissal, which will include any losses you have endured as a result of your employer’s breach.
Please note that wrongful dismissal and unfair dismissal are two entirely different concepts. A wrongful dismissal is a dismissal in breach of your employment contract and the only applicable considerations for a court or tribunal hearing for such a claim will be the contractual obligations of the employer. There is no length of service obligatory for a breach of contract claim, which can be brought either to the county court or High Court. Wrongful dismissal occurs most frequently where an employer dismisses an employee without any notice or with insufficient notice under his or her contract of employment.
When should an employee make a claim for wrongful dismissal?
There is a time limit to when a claim can be brought forward. You have 3 months from the date of employment termination to make a claim for wrongful dismissal in the Employment Tribunal and within 6 years if the claim is being made through the courts.
The full amount that you can claim for wrongful dismissal in the employment tribunal is £25k. If the amount you are looking for as a result of the breach of contract is greater than this sum then the claim would have to be brought in the courts.
Contact JMR Solicitors if you need some legal advice on how to bring proceeding for termination of employment, unfair dismissal and constructive dismissal.