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Employment issues.

Byline: Joe Michna, Hartlepool Citizens' Advice Bureau manager


QIs a wrongful dismissal the same as an unfair dismissal?

ANo. An unfair dismissal is when an employer is judged to have dismissed an employee without good reason. By contrast, in a wrongful dismissal, the reason for the dismissal has very little relevance in most instances.

QWhat is a wrongful dismissal?

A Wrongful Dismissal is where the employer terminates the contract of employment contrary to the terms of the contract.

QWhat are some examples of a wrongful dismissal?

ASome would be:

Where the employee is dismissed with no notice or with inadequate notice and the reason was not gross misconduct.

Where the employer has not followed the correct dismissal procedure.

QDoes an employee have to have to a minimum level of service in order to make a claim of wrongful dismissal?

AUnlike the law relating to unfair dismissal where an employee generally needs to have been employed for 12 months in order to make a claim, a dismissed employee can make a claim of wrongful dismissal regardless of his/her length of employment.

Q. What notice is an employee entitled to in order to make a claim of wrongful dismissal?

A. The amount of notice is often in his/her contract of employment. If the contract does not state a notice period, he/she will have the statutory right to a minimum period of notice depending on how long he/she has worked for the employer.

Q. What are the statutory notice requirements?

A. The statutory notice that employees are entitled to is:

One week for people who have worked fro their employer for one month but less than two years.

Two weeks if the employee has worked for his/her employer for two whole years.

One additional week for each further whole year's employment up to a maximum of 12 weeks notice in total.

Q. What is a 'Payment in Lieu of Notice'.

A. In some cases the employer may give proper notice to the employee but says he/she does not have to work his/her notice and pays the usual wage for the whole of the notice period, either in the normal way or as a lump sum.

Such a payment constitutes wages and there is therefore no breach of contractl.

Your local CAB can provide further advice and guidance on all Employment Law matters.

There are CABs located in Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland and Stockton.
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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 7, 2008
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