A wrongful dismissal is a termination that results in a breach of a contract and includes breach of an employment contract, a directors’ service agreement, or a consultancy agreement. It is not to be confused with unfair dismissal, which involves assessing the fairness of the dismissal. In a wrongful dismissal the only question to assess is whether the contract has been breached and you have a claim for damages.
Examples of a wrongful dismissal claim include:
- Breach of an express term such as a contractual notice period;
- Breach of a contractual procedure or policy (e.g., a redundancy policy or disciplinary procedure);
- Termination of a fixed-term contract before the agreed expiry date;
- Breach of an implied term such as the implied term of mutual trust and confidence.
If you believe you have a wrongful dismissal claim, you can make a claim to an employment tribunal within three months of the date of your dismissal. This is a strict legal deadline. You must also complete the ACAS pre-claim conciliation process before being allowed to submit your claim to an employment tribunal. It is therefore vital to obtain legal advice as soon as possible.
You also have a right to bring a civil claim for wrongful dismissal, which must be issued within 6 years of the breach of contract. The recovery of damages in the employment tribunal is capped at a statutory maximum of £25,000. In a civil claim there is no limit on the amount of damages that can be recovered. You can also claim your legal costs if you win your civil claim. As a general rule costs are not normally awarded against a losing party in a tribunal claim.
How can we help you?
We have extensive experience of handling wrongful dismissal claims and can provide you with comprehensive advice on your options including the amount of damages you might receive if you win. We can also help you with any settlement agreement negotiations as an alternative to bringing a claim.
We will always offer you a FREE, no-obligation telephone consultation followed by a reduced fixed fee meeting to give you comprehensive advice and support on your employment issues.
We can advise you either by telephone or at a face-to-face meeting at our offices. We also offer out of hours and weekend appointments to help you to obtain early advice and support.