When a company needs to take action to terminate a staff members' contract, the business must ensure they do it in the right way. If they don't, this could result in Employment Tribunal claims and awards of compensation being made against them.

Talk to the experts at Forbes Solicitors today for advice and support concerning dismissal claims and employment law compliance.

Terminating an employee's contract of employment has the potential to lead to three main claims:

  • wrongful dismissal
  • unfair dismissal
  • the right to a redundancy payment (see Redundancies, Lay-Off and Short-time working for further information)

Wrongful dismissal is a claim which workers or employees can bring based on the fact that the employer terminated their employment in breach of contract. The most common type of wrongful dismissal claim is in respect of a failure to pay notice pay. We can advise you on the ways in which your contracts of employment allow you to terminate your employees' employment without encountering wrongful dismissal claims in the Employment Tribunal.

Unfair dismissal is a claim which can only be brought by employees. In order for an employee to bring an unfair dismissal claim, they must have at least 2 years' continuous service with their employer (or 1 year's service if their employment began before 6 April 2012).

In assessing the fairness of a dismissal, the Tribunal will look at whether the employer had a fair reason for dismissal and whether the employer followed a fair procedure.

As an employer, you must be able to show that a dismissal comes within one of the following potentially fair reasons set out within the Employment Rights Act 1996:

  1. Capability
  2. Conduct
  3. Redundancy
  4. Illegality
  5. Some other substantial reason ('SOSR') justifying the employee's dismissal.

Constructive dismissal is a form of unfair dismissal. An employee is deemed to have been constructively dismissed if he terminates his own contract by reason of his employer's unreasonable conduct, which amounts to a fundamental breach of contract. There can either be a single fundamental breach, or a series of incidents that cumulatively form a breach.

Forbes Solicitors' Employment law team can provide you with expert advice on the correct procedures to take to avoid, or successfully defend a claim. We can also represent you in wrongful and unfair dismissal claims at the Employment Tribunal. Please call Forbes Solicitors on freephone 0800 689 0831 or contact us by email for further information.

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12 Apr 2019

Employment & HR


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