Wrongful dismissal is when an employee is dismissed and this dismissal is a breach of their contract of employment. It is important to remember in these circumstances that the fairness of the dismissal is not what is to be considered but instead has their been a breach of an express or implied contractual term.
If there has been a breach of a contractual term in dismissing an employee then they may be able to claim for damages.
Types of wrongful dismissal claim
The following types of breach are often involved in claims for wrongful dismissal:
- Breach of a notice term, whether express or implied.
- Breach of a contractual disciplinary or redundancy procedure.
- Termination of a fixed-term contract or a “specific task” contract before its expiry.
- There are three ways in which the notice period may be arrived at:
- Notice periods
- The most common type of claim is for breach of the notice period.
- By statute.
- By an express term in the contract.
- By an implied term of the contract. Where there is an express notice period in the contract, it will operate subject to the Statutory minimum notice period contained in section 86 of the ERA 1996. It is important to note that even where there is no express notice period within the contract, section 86 of the ERA 1996 requires that a minimum period of notice be implied into all employment contracts.