Unfair Dismissal Advice

Employees with the requisite length of service are protected in law against unfair dismissal.

In most cases employees must have more than two years continuous service to pursue a claim for unfair dismissal. However dismissal on certain grounds, for example whistle-blowing, or because of maternity leave or exercising other statutory rights, is automatically unfair and employees can bring a claim from day 1.

Dismissals can be unfair usually because;

  • one of the 5 fair reasons for dismissal do not apply. Fair reasons for dismissal are (in)capability, (mis)conduct, redundancy, continued employment would contravene a statute (illegal employment), or some other substantial reason (e.g. clash of personalities, breakdown in relationships etc.);
  • your employer has failed to follow a fair process; and/or
  • it is not reasonable for you to have been dismissed in the circumstances.

Constructive dismissal occurs when your employer acts in a way that seriously breaches your employment contract and you resign as a result.

If you feel you have been unfairly dismissed or that your employer has left you with no choice other than to resign then we are here to help with clear advice on all of your options.

How can you get representation?

  • Contact our team

If you are going through a disciplinary, performance management or redundancy process we can advise and assist with challenges to fair process and appeals, and help you strengthen your position by advising on what your employer may be doing wrong. Alternatively, If you have been dismissed we can advise on the strength of your unfair dismissal claim and potential compensation. We also advise on bringing and conducting an employment tribunal claim.

  • Create a strategy

Once we understand your position, a qualified solicitor will be able to work with you to create a plan of action.

  • Discuss fees

From the beginning, we will provide you with up-front cost estimates based on the work/advice required so you are clear on your costs. We will also keep you up to date throughout.

If you succeed with an unfair dismissal claim at an Employment Tribunal you are entitled to compensation on the following basis:

Basic Award

The basic award is a statutory award that involves multiplying a) your length of continuous service at the point of dismissal (up to a maximum of 20 years); b) a multiplier based on your age; and c) your gross weekly pay as at the date of dismissal. A week’s pay is subject to a statutory cap which is £538 (correct from 6 April 2020 but subject to change). If you have been dismissed by reason of redundancy, the tribunal will reduce the basic award by the amount of any Statutory Redundancy Pay you have received.

Compensatory Award

The compensatory award is based on the loss of income you have incurred as a result of your dismissal (subject to your duty to mitigate your loss i.e. made a reasonable effort to find alternative employment).The maximum Compensatory Award that you can be awarded in ordinary unfair dismissal cases is the lower of either the statutory cap of £88,519or 52 weeks gross salary (correct as of 6 April 2020 but subject to change). This award can be enhanced or reduced, for example if the employee is found to have contributed to their dismissal (contributory fault) or the employer has unreasonably failed to comply with the ACAS Code on Grievances and Disciplinary Procedures.

In some cases, there is no cap on the compensation that can be awarded.

If you are a higher earner and/or you have already received severance from your employer, you will need to carefully consider if it is worth making an unfair dismissal claim because of the statutory cap. Find out how we can help you.

Why should we represent you?

If your employer has not followed the correct procedures in dismissing you, or if your dismissal came about in connection with a business transfer that was handled badly, you may have a claim. We can advise you on your chances of success and how to challenge the dismissal.

  • Solicitors who are highly regarded

At Hodge Jones & Allen, we have extensive experience of supporting clients through unfair dismissal claims. We bring a highly personalised approach tailored to each case, high value or small.

  • Lawyers who are on your side

Employment relations may have deteriorated, perhaps through bullying or harassment, making the case more complex. In all situations, our understanding lawyers skilfully fight for you to protect your reputation and achieve a positive outcome as far as possible.

  • Advice you can trust

We have won substantial payouts for clients across a wide range of industry sectors, both through out-of-court settlements and by way of compensation at the end of a successful employment tribunal. If you are facing a tribunal hearing, we can assist at every stage.

Case Study: Allegations of gross misconduct withdrawn by employer

We were instructed by a university employee who was accused of gross misconduct and was told by his employer that dismissal was imminent. We avoided a dismissal by successfully contesting the allegations of gross misconduct – which were withdrawn. We raised a grievance, which the employer was forced to uphold, due to the weight of our evidence and secured a very advantageous compensation package for our client.

Case Study: Succeeded in pursuing claim for constructive unfair dismissal and disability discrimination

We recently won a Tribunal claim for a Senior Director who was pursuing a claim in the Employment Tribunal for constructive unfair dismissal and disability discrimination in relation to treatment he was subjected to following a diagnosis of stomach cancer and heart disease.

Case Study: Lawyers negotiated settlement for unfair redundancy

We negotiated a settlement for an unfairly redundant employee at the pre-claim stage in excess of the statutory cap on compensation, along with the retention of his share options, and last year’s bonus and an agreed detailed reference and announcement regarding his departure.

Frequently asked questions

Can I claim unfair dismissal?

Ordinarily you may have a claim for unfair dismissal if you have been employed continuously by your employer for 103 weeks (2 years less 1 week) or more and you believe the reason you have been dismissed is unfair and/or your employer did not follow a fair procedure when dismissing you.

Regardless of your length of service you may have a claim for automatic unfair dismissal if you are certain exceptional circumstances.

When should I seek advice from a solicitor?

The short answer is as soon as possible. If you are still employed, getting early advice ensures we can identify the strength of your legal claims and advise on how best to proceed when dealing with your employer – this will avoid the risk of you saying or doing something which may jeopardise your legal position.

If you have already been dismissed, you have three months less one day from the date of termination to start legal action, subject to ACAS Early Conciliation which is a compulsory step before issuing a claim. This deadline is enforced strictly. If you fail to act in time, you can be prevented from pursuing a claim.

How much will I get if I am successful in a claim for unfair dismissal?

The value of your claim will largely depend on what your actual financial loss is as a result of being unfairly dismissed.

This may be limited if you have secured a new job quickly at a comparable income. Compensation for ordinary unfair dismissal claims is also subject to a statutory cap (the lower of a year’s salary or £88,519 (correct as of 6 April 2020 but subject to change).

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Address:Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors
180 North Gower Street
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