Employment Law

9 Wrongful dismissal

Wrongful dismissal occurs when employer terminates employee without any lawful reason. In this case employee may have right to claim for wrongful dismissal under common Law but employee will have to prove that he has been terminated without any reason.

In this case if employer justify himself by arguing that employee has conducted some serious mistakes then it will never be considered as wrongful dismissal. These are given as follows.

  • Serious disobedience that is beyond his authority also.
  • Disclosure of confidential information without employer’s  permission
  • Dishonesty at the behalf of employee
  • If employee is negligent at his work
  • If employee is incompetent and failed to meet professional requirements
  • Drunkenness

Case law: William v Royal institute of Chartered Surveyors 1997

Remedies for wrongful dismissal

Employee may have right to claim damaged that are equal to the loss of earning.

10 Unfair dismissal

When employee is terminated without any fair reason known as unfair dismissal. The employer must have to follow certain procedure to terminate an employee otherwise employee may have right to claim through Employment Rights Act 1996. But employee also must have satisfied certain criteria.

Scope of unfair dismissal

Employees under Employment protection legislation can claim for unfair dismissal but its scope is limited to only to Great Britain and the employees working outside it are excluded from this right.

Specific criteria to meet before claim

There are following rules that must be followed by the employees in order to claim.

  • There must be continuous employment of minimum one year although there are some exceptions
    • Where the employee is pregnant
    • Where the employee is being denied a statutory right e.g. unlawful deduction from wages.
    • There must be an unfair reason behind this dismissal
    • Employee have been dismissed 

Procedure for claim of unfair dismissal

There are following four steps that must be followed for successful claim

Step 1:  employee must apply for compensation within three months of dismissal

Step2:  employee must have to prove that he is qualifying employee and that he has In fact been dismissed by unfair reason.

Step 3: employer may also have right to prove if there is any other reason of fair reason for dismissal.

Step 4 : after employee and employer evidences ,employment tribunal must decide whether the employee or employer was in fact right.

Standard statutory procedure

There are three steps.

  • Statement of reason for action and invitation to meeting
  • Nature of the meeting
  • Appeal stage

For above procedure the timing and location of the meeting should be reasonable and in meeting employee and the employer both should have right to explain their case.


In some situations, it is not reasonable for an employer to dismiss an employee without first warning.

Case law: Newman v T H White Motors 1972