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Differences Between an Unfair Dismissal and a Wrongful Dismissal

Unfair Dismissal vs Wrongful Dismissal

There’s nothing more awful than losing your job. These days, finding a job is like finding a needle in a large crowd. Without anyone backing you up, you cannot nail down a job. Talents alone won’t be enough. If you will apply with your talents as gears versus someone equipped with a I-know-somebody-there, chances are, you’ll lose the battle. So in this day and age, you should love and honor your job. But what if you are faced with an unfair dismissal; or is that a wrongful dismissal? “Dismissal” means “no job, no money, and no life.” But what is exactly the difference between “unfair dismissal” and “wrongful dismissal”? Let us find out in this article.

What is an unfair dismissal? Just by looking at the definition of the word “unfair,” it means “unreasonable.” We can determine if it’s an unfair dismissal based on your employer’s reason for dismissing you from your job. We have what is called the Employment Rights Act of 1996. Under Section 98, there is a list of potentially fair reasons for why your employer is dismissing you. If it’s not included in the list, then it is likely to be unfair. Perhaps one of the grounds for your dismissal was not attending your company’s meeting. If you always attend your meetings on time, and yet your employer files a dismissal, this is considered an unfair dismissal.

Another factor that can cause you to have an unfair dismissal is whether or not your employer has acted reasonably in justifying your dismissal. Really, we don’t know what’s exactly going on in our employer’s head. They could just dismiss us without valid reasons. Another way to tell whether it is an unfair dismissal is whether your employer has followed all fair procedures. However, for the dismissed employee to call it an unfair dismissal, you should have at least one year of continuous service for your company. If not, you don’t have the right to claim an unfair dismissal. If you win the dismissal case, your compensation would be your lost earnings during the time of your dismissal.

On the other hand, a wrongful dismissal is a dismissal in breach of contract. The court or tribunal hearing would only consider your claim based on the contractual obligations of your employer. If you  file for a wrongful dismissal claim, you can bring it to the county court or even the high court. You can file a claim even if you haven’t completed a year of service in your company.

If you have experienced being dismissed without being notified or insufficient notice, that can be considered a wrongful dismissal. As employees, we have the right to be notified at once. We have signed our contract of employment, and being dismissed without proper notification just tramples our rights. Winning the case will allow you to earn your pay and benefits during the notice of your dismissal.

So as not to reach the stage of dismissal, as employees, we should do our duties and obey our employers. However, when they are already stepping on our rights, don’t be afraid to speak and bring your claims to the court if necessary.


  1. “Unfair dismissal” is based on your employer’s reason for dismissing you from your job. For you to file a claim, you need to have offered at least one year of service to your company.

  2. The Employment Rights Act of 1996 has a list of potentially fair reasons for why your employer is dismissing you.

  3. “Wrongful dismissal” is “a dismissal in breach of contract.” There is no length of service considered for you to file a claim.


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