Unfair Dismissal

One of the most common claims brought in an employment tribunal is unfair dismissal. If you feel you have been unfairly dismissed, talk things through with us using our free no-obligation callback facility.

Losing your job can be a terrifying ordeal. We recognise that jobs are more than just about money. The job you do gives you purpose, identity, and social standing.

If you have been treated unfairly, you can claim compensation. You can even ask an employment tribunal to order your employer to re-employ you. But employment tribunal proceedings can be daunting, the law is complicated and the procedures are lengthy and complex.

Our specialist employment solicitors are experts in getting you the compensation you deserve.

Paying for a solicitor

The general rule in an employment tribunal is that each side pays their own legal fees regardless of whether they win or lose.

If you are worried about legal fees, talk things through with us using our free no-obligation callback facility.

You may already have insurance cover for legal costs. This is often tagged on to home insurance.

Examples of cases we have been involved in

  • Mr and Mrs A were managers of a pub. When they fell out with the brewery, the couple were subjected to unfair performance procedures and eventually sacked. Total compensation: £50,000
  • Mr B was sacked from his position as a manager of a retail outlet when he refused to give information to his employer about his personal affairs. Total compensation: £32,250
  • Mrs C, a disabled school teacher, was sacked from her school for allegedly not being able to restrain pupils because of her disability. Total compensation £120,000
  • Mr D was sacked after he failed to turn up for a shift. There had been some confusion about his shift patterns which led to his employer concluding that he had been deliberately absent from work. Total compensation £21,000
  • Ms E was sexually harassed by her employer. The employer made suggestive and crude comments, eventually forcing her out of her job. Total compensation: £15,000
  • Ms F was sacked from her job when she made the decision to re-assign her gender. This was a case that attracted considerable media interest at a national level. Total compensation: undisclosed

Unfair Dismissal FAQ

Do I have to have worked for my employer for a certain period of time to claim unfair dismissal?

Usually, but not always.

As a general rule, if you were employed before 6 April 2012, you must have worked for your employer for more than one year to be able to claim unfair dismissal. If you started work after 6 April 2013 then you need to be employed for two or more years.

BUT there are a number of exceptions to that rule. For example, if you were sacked because you are a “whistleblower”, then no qualifying period applies. Do not assume that just because you do not have the necessary qualifying period of employment there is nothing you can do.

Do time limits apply?

Yes. You must bring your claim within 3 months of being sacked. The time limits are very strict. Extensions are rarely given. For example, if you were sacked on 31 March your claim for unfair dismissal would need to be received by the employment tribunal on or before 30 June.

Do you offer no-win-no-fee arrangements?

We do not normally offer a ‘no-win no-fee’ arrangement, however we may be prepared to consider this in exceptional circumstances where your case is both strong enough and is a suitable case for this type of arrangement. 

Can I ask for my job back if I win?

Yes, you can ask for a reinstatement order (where you get your old job back) or a re-engagement order (where you are given a different job) in addition to compensation. Your ex-employer does not have to agree to take you back on if a reinstatement or re-engagement order is made but, if they do not, you can be given an additional award of compensation of up to a year’s salary.

Is there a fee to pay for bringing a claim?

Yes. But speak to one of our specialist employment solicitors for more information as you may not need to pay the tribunal fee depending on your circumstances.

How much compensation might I get?

Roughly-speaking, compensation for unfair dismissal is based on your loss of earnings. You are entitled to a basic award, which is the equivalent of statutory redundancy pay based on your age and length of service. You are then entitled to be compensated for your loss of earnings. This may depend on how long you are out of work. There is a cap on the amount you can recover, which is currently £76,574 (as at April 2014) or a full year’s gross salary whichever is the lower.

What is whistle-blowing?

Whistle-blowers are employees who disclose information to their employer or another authority about misbehaviour or wrongdoing within the employer’s business. This could be a criminal act, a breach of health and safety or some other breach of the law.

Whistle-blowers have protection against being subjected to a detriment by their employer or from colleagues. If an employee is sacked because they are a whistle-blower, the dismissal will be automatically unfair. There is no qualifying period of employment to bring a claim nor is there any cap on the amount of compensation that can be recovered.

Do I have to give evidence in an employment tribunal?

The majority of cases settle by negotiation before they reach an employment tribunal. We will run your case to get the best result for you and sometimes this means getting your case resolved by an employment tribunal. If this happens, we will guide and support you through the process and make you feel as comfortable as possible before you have to give evidence. With the best team around you, you will feel empowered.

For further information please contact a member of our employment law team, complete our online enquiry form or call our client care team who will be pleased to help you.