To lose your job through dismissal is bad enough, but to lose it through wrongful dismissal is especially upsetting, and for many, the way forward is not always obvious. This can be because there are several differing criteria for what constitutes wrongful dismissal, and ACAS, the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, set out basic information on this.
Whilst this will give you a basic idea of where to start with a potential case for wrongful dismissal against your employer, it is always wise to consider consulting with a company such as O’Donnell Solicitors, which specialises in employment law, which in the UK is often complex. This way, you’ll get the most up-to-date and comprehensive advice tailored to your circumstances to understand your rights and options thoroughly.
If you believe you may have been wrongly dismissed from your job, you have several options for addressing the situation, some of which we can set out here.
Review your employment contract.
The first step must be to review the terms of your employment contract, paying careful attention to all clauses relating to dismissal and termination of contract. Then, arrange a meeting with your employer as soon as possible to determine why you have been dismissed and explain why you think there has been a mistake and why you believe you have been wrongfully dismissed. It may help you to have already gathered as much evidence to support your belief that you should not have been dismissed; this could include relevant documents such as performance reviews, emails, witness statements and any other documents which may help your case. Under no circumstances should you allow any original documents to remain with your employer; these should be retained for the use of your legal representative, should you engage one, who can help determine whether you have a legal case for wrongful dismissal and guide you through the legal process.
Keep records of all communications and actions related to your case.
Explore alternative dispute resolution.
Before embarking on a lengthy and complex legal case, consider whether alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is available. Indeed, your employer may encourage you to participate in a dispute resolution process, such as mediation or conciliation, to resolve the matter without having to go to court.
File a claim
In most cases, disputes of this kind can be resolved without having to commit to a costly full tribunal hearing as most employers would be keen to avoid expensive, time-consuming and damaging litigation however if ADR methods are unavailable to you then the next step is to file a claim with an Employment Tribunal.
Should you decide to proceed to a tribunal hearing, then your solicitor will advise you of the costs involved and the time scales for each step of the proceedings from the initial issue of proceedings to full representation. Your legal representative will undertake day-to-day management of the case.
Why you might need help
An employment law specialist can help you understand and determine precisely what kind of dismissal underlines your case. For instance, although you feel yours is a straightforward wrongful dismissal case, you may consider constructive dismissal instead. You may have a case for constructive dismissal if you think you were forced to resign from your job due to your employer’s actions, such as a hostile environment or breach of contract. The process for addressing constructive dismissal is similar to that for wrongful dismissal.
Finally, be prepared for any outcome, including reinstatement, compensation for lost earnings or other settlement. Discuss your wishes with your solicitor at the outset. Check Storiesig guide.
Throughout the process, seek support from family and friends to help you cope with the stress and uncertainty.