Unfair Dismissal and Wrongful Dismissal Claims

Legal advice for employees regarding unfair dismissal claims and wrongful dismissal claims

If you would like to speak to one of our solicitors on a confidential basis about unfair dismissal claims and/or wrongful dismissal (breach of contract) claims and/or related settlements please call us on 0203 178 5361.

We have been very successful when representing employees bringing Unfair Dismissal and/or Wrongful Dismissal (Breach of Contract) claims. Those claims that reach litigation have been either won at Employment Tribunal or settled prior to a final hearing (or remedy hearing) by our specialist unfair dismissal lawyers.

If you feel that your employment relationship is coming to an end then you can speak with one of our unfair dismissal solicitors about your rights, potential claims and the best course of action to take strategically.

Unfair dismissal

Unfair Dismissal is a statutory claim that can only be brought by an employee. (Although some employers will seek to avoid employment status so the label applied is not conclusive – we can compare the facts to the legal tests.) Since 6 April 2012 an employee must have two years’ service with an employer in order to bring an ordinary Unfair Dismissal claim (although see the Automatically Unfair Dismissal exception below). If you commenced employment prior to 6 April 2012 you only need one year’s service to be eligible to bring a claim.

Our unfair dismissal lawyers guide our employee clients through the process – whether an anticipated termination, actual termination or constructive dismissal. We appreciate that it will be a stressful situation for you regardless of whether the termination is for redundancy, capability, conduct, illegality or SOSR (some other substantial reason); or whether you believe your employer has fundamentally breached your contract (constructive dismissal). As we are fully up-to-date on recent unfair dismissal case law we can take you through all the relevant legal and practical considerations and develop a strategy for how to progress the issue.

Employees ordinarily have three months less one day from the effective date of termination to bring a claim (although in some circumstances this is extended as a result of compulsory early conciliation via ACAS). Therefore legal action must be taken promptly.

Dismissals that are found to be for certain specified reasons will be ‘Automatically Unfair’. Some of these have no qualifying period of service attached to them and others have a shorter qualifying period attached (e.g. one year’s service). Examples of these are where a dismissal is: connected with a TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment) transfer; for making a ‘protected disclosure’/whistleblowing; for a health and safety reason; connected to the Working Time Regulations; for taking maternity leave; for making a flexible working request or a redundancy on these grounds (amongst others). Our solicitors will discuss these issues with you.

Wrongful dismissal

In the employment context, wrongful dismissal is a dismissal in breach of contract. This can arise from an actual termination or from constructive dismissal (where your employer fundamentally breaches your contract of employment). It is possible for an individual to have both unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal claims.

Wrongful dismissal claims can be brought in the High Court (or other civil courts, depending on the value) or the Employment Tribunal. There are important considerations as to which venue to choose and we will talk through these with you. There is no qualifying period for a wrongful dismissal claim.

Specialist Unfair Dismissal and Wrongful Dismissal solicitors

Our lawyers have many years’ experience in dealing with unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal matters for clients. We advise clients in a very broad range of different industries; those based in London and all around Great Britain.

We will talk you through the law and how it applies to your factual situation. Where litigation is contemplated or on foot: we will discuss your prospects of success and the evidence required to demonstrate your claim/s. Where you come to us prior to dismissal: we will talk you through your options giving reasoned, practical and commercial advice based on our experience as advisers and litigators.

As a result of their success, our team and our unfair dismissal solicitors individually have received acclaim in the leading legal directories: Legal500 and Chambers & Partners.

Common Unfair Dismissal and Wrongful Dismissal issues

Some of the most common issues we come across are:

  • False or sham redundancy situations – where the underlying cause is not a genuine redundancy.
  • Dismissals and constructive dismissals following a breakdown in relations.
  • Serious and gross misconduct dismissals.
  • Discriminatory dismissals e.g. as a result of a protected characteristic such as pregnancy, maternity, age, gender/sex, sexual harassment, disability.
  • Dismissals of senior managers concurrent with the business adopting a new business plan.

Recent Unfair Dismissal and Wrongful Dismissal matters include

  • Unfair dismissal and discrimination claims fought and won at Employment Tribunal.
  • Life-changing settlement sums agreed via negotiation and/or mediation of unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal claims; including agreed arrangements regarding pension payments, tax treatment, references, announcements and removal or relaxation of restrictive covenants.
  • Settlements involving complex equity schemes, bonuses and commission following intimated or actual unfair dismissal and/or breach of contract claims.

Talk to a specialist employment lawyer

If you would like to speak to one of our solicitors on a confidential basis about current issues or claims related to unfair and/or wrongful dismissal please call our London-based solicitors on 0203 178 5361 or email info@kervinandbarnes.com. We act for corporations as well as senior executives and we find that this insight is extremely useful for strategising cases.