Unfair dismissal

You have to work for your employer for 2 years before you acquire the right not to be unfairly dismissed.


If the dismissal is because of discrimination or as a result of whistleblowing or trade union activities then no minimum service is needed before a claim can be brought.


It is for the employer to prove that the dismissal is fair.


It is essential to undertake an assessment of possible compensation as early as possible before embarking on any case as you will want to weigh up not just the legal merits but also the financial ones.


If your case is successful, this is how the tribunal assesses compensation:

  • a basic award (from April 2018) of £508 for each year that you have worked for the employer;
  • this is increased by 50% for each year of employment over the age of 41 which is the same as redundancy entitlement;


Over and above this, compensation for unfair or constructive dismissal is based solely on economic loss and is limited to £83,682 in cases of unfair dismissal (as of 6 April 2018) no matter how great your losses might be; this limit is removed altogether if the dismissal is largely due to certain specific areas of law such as discrimination.


Even if you have an excellent case for unfair dismissal but have been fortunate enough to move straight into alternative employment at a similar earnings level, your compensation is likely to be negligible. At all times, you have an obligation to minimise your losses. You are expected to make strenuous efforts to find work and keep track of job applications and adverts.


Statutory benefits received by the employee are repaid out of the compensation ordered to be paid by the employer.