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Unfair and Constructive Dismissal

Sam Azzopardi-Tudor

Employment Law Blog

Here at Martin Kaye Solicitors, we are often approached by individuals who feel like they have been unfairly or constructively dismissed. But what is the difference between the two?

In short, unfair dismissal is when an employer does not have a fair reason or has not followed a fair procedure to dismiss you.

Your employer cannot dismiss you without good reason. The law recognises that there are five potentially fair reasons for dismissal:

  • Your conduct (i.e. you’ve continually been late, not turned up for work or demonstrated poor discipline).
  • Your capability (i.e. you cannot do your job properly).
  • The result of redundancy.
  • Illegality (i.e. your employment breaches a legal requirement).
  • Another substantial reason.

Not only does your employer need to establish a fair reason for dismissal, but they also need to follow a fair procedure. If your employer can establish a fair reason for dismissal but have failed to follow a fair procedure, this may still amount to unfair dismissal.

Unless you have been dismissed due to gross misconduct, then your employer should give you the minimum amount of notice that is stated within your contract.

Should you be successful in your claim for unfair dismissal, then you can expect to receive either compensation, reinstatement to your previous job, or maybe even a new job within the company. The most likely result would be compensation, however.

Compensation is based upon a basic award which is calculated in accordance with your age, length of service and weekly salary. In addition, you may be entitled to recover any losses incurred up to a maximum of one year’s salary or £93,878, (whichever is the lesser sum). The Tribunal will deduct any earnings you have received from any new employment since your dismissal.

In order to claim for unfair dismissal, you would need to have worked for at least two years continuously and must make a claim within three months of your dismissal.

Please note that this does not constitute to legal advice. If you feel that you have been unfairly dismissed then do not hesitate to contact us for specific advice relating to your scenario.

To find out more, please contact Martin Kaye Solicitors on 01952 272222 or