January 11, 2023

The Difference Between Unfair and Wrongful Dismissal

This post was written by: Laaibah Bhatti

The variety of terms used in employment law can be confusing. When it comes to unfair and wrongful dismissal, many people are unaware of the difference. Although these terms are often used interchangeably, there are clear distinctions.

The most common misconception is that unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal are the same thing, but this is not the case. 

Unlike unfair dismissal, wrongful dismissal focuses on a clear, contractual breach.   Most commonly it is used if, for instance, your employer has not paid you the correct amount of notice in accordance with your contract.   You also do not need a qualifying period to make a wrongful dismissal claim (unlike a basic claim of unfair dismissal which in most cases has a prerequisite of 2 years’ employment).

In many cases, employees are eligible to apply for unfair and wrongful dismissal cases in tandem.  This is one of the reasons why it is recommended to seek professional legal advice prior to issuing proceedings.

To prove unfair dismissal, you must be able to determine whether the employer has in fact behaved in a manner that is deemed legally as unfair.  Unfair dismissal claims can be more complicated and not quite as straight-forward as a wrongful dismissal claim. 

If you need some guidance on understanding the difference between unfair and wrongful dismissal, Ilinca Mardarescu (Head of Employment) at Aston Bond is happy to help!

Contact her on imardarescu@astonbond.co.uk or 01753 486 777.