Solicitors for claiming unfair dismissal

At Wellers, we have an experienced team of employment lawyers in our offices in London, Sevenoaks and Bromley who regularly advise employee clients on unfair dismissal and related Employment Tribunal claims.

Under English law, employees have the right to claim for unfair dismissal in the Employment Tribunal if they have been employed by the employer for 2 years or more and the dismissal, was in legal terms, unfair. Making a  successful claim or negotiating an acceptable settlement from the employer without going to trial involves understanding both your rights and potential risks.

Common Reasons for Dismissal

  • Gross misconduct: Serious offenses like theft, fighting at work, or drug use, usually resulting in immediate dismissal without warnings.
  • Redundancy: Job elimination due to company restructure, requiring fair selection and consultation processes.
  • Capability: Unsatisfactory performance or long-term illness impacting job duties. This typically involves warnings and support before dismissal.

A dismissal is unfair if it doesn’t meet legal standards based on either the underlying reason for dismissal or unfairness in the process of dismissal or both. Procedural issues are often at the heart of unfair dismissal claims:

  • Fairness of Reason: While tribunals generally respect employers’ decisions to dismiss, they may intervene if the reason is clearly unjustified.
  • Procedural Fairness: Failure to follow fair procedures (e.g., not giving the employee a chance to respond or appeal) can lead to an unfair dismissal finding.

Discrimination also part of unfair dismissal

Many unfair dismissal claims also involve discrimination, such as age, sex, or disability. These claims don’t require a minimum service period, unlike unfair dismissal claims. Employers often worry more about discrimination claims because the amount of compensation can be much higher than with unfair dismissal only, where the damages are generally limited to losses. In other words, if the employee gets another job soon after dismissal, the value of an unfair dismissal claim can be quite low. the employee is under a legal duty to seek to mitigate his or her losses, which means a duty to seek suitable alternative employment after being dismissed. failure to do this can result in a successful claim on the legal merits but with no damages or very reduced damages.

Employers are generally also concerned about bad publicity which may arise where an employee claims some form of discrimination.

Constructive Dismissal

When an employer’s actions leave you no choice but to resign, you may be able to claim constructive dismissal. Key points to understand before considering resigning and claiming constructive unfair dismissal include :-

  • Intolerable Situation: Was your position truly untenable due to the employer’s actions?
  • Timing is Crucial: Delaying resignation after the situation arises can weaken your claim.
  • Negotiate or Claim: Exploring settlement options with your employer might be beneficial.

Get in contact

Please do call your nearest Wellers office or email us to discuss your situation and how we can help you.