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Business Employment

Unfair dismissal lawyers in London & Thames Valley

What is an unfair or wrongful dismissal?

There are laws which protect employees or workers from being dismissed unfairly or in breach of their contractual terms.   This means an employer has to follow its own contractual processes and generally give or pay notice to end a contract and avoid wrongful dismissal claims.  In the majority of cases an employer will also have to have a fair and permitted reason to justify dismissing an employee, such as poor performance, misconduct or redundancy and  must follow a fair process to avoid an unfair dismissal claim.  Getting these procedures wrong can be very expensive for the company and if a dismissal is tainted for example by discrimination or allegations of whistleblowing an employment tribunal can award uncapped compensation.

Avoiding claims – why choose us to help you?

Sometimes it may feel like legal and company processes are cumbersome and time consuming and the last thing a busy manager wants to follow.  However, a High Court or employment tribunal claim brought as a result of a failure to consider the legal issues around managing or ending an employment relationship can end up being more costly, time consuming and ultimately damaging to reputation and culture.

Our lawyers can help guide you through the legal processes to ensure that you avoid or mitigate the risk of claims when managing an employee to improve or change their behaviours or to remove them from the business and can provide you with strategic advice on when you might safely have a protected “off the record” conversation” to speed things up.

They also have a wealth of experience in acting for both employees and employers, giving them good insight and strategic thinking into how to approach any issue or claim. They have represented many businesses from SMEs to major international companies over the years, advocating in tribunal where necessary, taking ownership of your case from start to finish. They can also guide you on choosing experienced Counsel or other experts when needed.

Our lawyers are able to help you by:

  • Arranging training for your organisation on correct procedures to follow.
  • Preparing practical and commercial policies and contracts that work for the business.
  • Advising on potential dismissals and how to navigate the processes correctly.
  • Managing protected conversations.
  • Identifying potential further issues such as discrimination which may require careful attention.
  • Advising on contractual terms and avoiding wrongful dismissal claims
  • Providing robust representation all the way to the tribunal.

Contact Us

If you need assistance and would like to discuss any queries regarding any of the above, please get in touch with our employment law specialists who will be happy to assist.

An exceptional balance of expertise and personality.”

Legal 500

FAQs- Unfair Dismissal

Employees with at least two years’ continuous service have the right not to be unfairly dismissed.  A dismissal will be unfair unless it has been made for one of five legally permitted reasons and the employer has acted reasonably in treating that reason as sufficient to justify dismissal.

The law also sets out a small number of cases where dismissals will be ‘automatically unfair’ for example where dismissals are connected to whistleblowing or asserting a statutory right.  In these cases, it just needs to be shown that the employer dismissed the employee for one of the automatically unfair reasons, there’s no need to consider the reasonableness of the employer’s actions.  This type of claim can be brought by any employee, even those with less than two years’ service.

This refers to a situation where an employee resigns due to the actions of the employer.  There must be a repudiatory breach on the part of the employer and the employee must show that they have resigned as a result of that breach.  The law then effectively converts the resignation into a dismissal for unfair dismissal purposes.

This refers to a situation where an employee is dismissed in breach of contract.  This type of claim often arises as a result of an employee being dismissed without the notice that they are entitled to under their employment contract.

These are:

  • Capability or Qualifications
  • Misconduct
  • Redundancy
  • Contravention of Statute
  • Some Other Substantial Reason

The Government does report on Tribunal statistics quarterly on its website which includes details of average awards.  However, average sums will not give an accurate picture of likely compensation as awards can differ substantially.

Where a Tribunal finds that an employee has been unfairly dismissed, it typically awards two types of compensation, a ‘basic award’ and a ‘compensatory award’.  There are statutory caps that apply to the compensation available for unfair dismissal claims.

The basic award is calculated in the same way as a statutory redundancy payment.  The compensation award is capped at a specific amount prescribed by law (adjusted each year) or  52 weeks’ gross pay if lower.


Key contacts

Monica Atwal

Managing Partner

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+44 118 960 4605

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