A wrongful dismissal claim can arise when your employer has breached their contractual obligations. It could, for example, be that they fail to give notice as is set out in your contract of employment.
In a situation such as this, and many others, your employer would be liable to pay you damages for wrongful dismissal. These damages would reflect the total loss you sustained as a result of them breaching their contractual obligation.
This will include anything you would have received if the breach of contract had not occurred. Commonly this will be wages and pension entitlement but could also include car allowances, bonuses, private health cover and many other items.
Unlike unfair dismissal claims, which are made possible by statute, wrongful dismissal compensation is uncapped and is only measured by the actual contractual loss. It is, however, important to note that if you are dismissed for reasons of gross misconduct that you will be unable to claim wrongful dismissal. This is because your actions will have repudiated the contract.
Who can claim wrongful dismissal?
Wrongful dismissal does not have a qualifying period. The only requirement to make a claim is that your employer breached the terms of your contract.
Pay in lieu of notice
Often an employer may not require you to work out your notice and will instead pay you in lieu of it. This could, depending on the contract, be considered damages for wrongful dismissal.
How long do I have to claim?
This will depend where you make your claim. In order to bring a claim for wrongful dismissal to the Employment Tribunal you must make it within 3 months of termination. You could also bring a claim through the Courts. In this instance the time limit is 6 years.
How do I claim for wrongful dismissal?
Your claim for wrongful dismissal could be brought to either the Employment Tribunal or County/High Court. This will depend largely on the value of the claim, and what you decide. If the claim is worth less than £25,000 it can be heard in the Employment Tribunal, but any case exceeding this value must be heard in the County or High Court.
This does not mean you must bring your case to the Employment Tribunal if its value is below £25,000. It is your decision, but you should know that you can only bring one claim for wrongful dismissal.
How much could I claim for wrongful dismissal?
The level of damages you are awarded will be based on your pay and any other employment benefits you would have received, but for the breach of contract.
It should be noted that you are under a duty to mitigate your loss. One way you can mitigate your loss is by seeking alternative employment. If you are successful in this, and secure alternative employment during your notice period, then your pay associated with this will reduce your damages. This is to prevent double recovery.
If you are bringing a claim for both wrongful dismissal and unfair dismissal you will not receive double compensation. In this the compensatory award, which is associated with loss of earnings, in an unfair dismissal claim would be reduced by the damages awarded in wrongful dismissal.
Arthur Jackson & Co Solicitors will only use your information for the purposes of your enquiry.