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Unfair Dismissal Claims

If you’ve been dismissed from work for something that was not your fault, you may be able to claim compensation. Your case will be reviewed by our panel of legal firms who will be able to tell you how much you could be owed.

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Overview of unfair dismissal claims

Unfair dismissal claims arise when an employee believes they were dismissed without a fair reason or the dismissal process was unfair. In most cases, employees can make an unfair dismissal claim if they have worked for their employer for at least two years. Unfair dismissal claims are usually heard by an employment tribunal, where the employee will need to prove that the dismissal was unjust.

The criteria needed to qualify for an unfair dismissal claim

To qualify for an unfair dismissal claim, the employee must meet certain criteria. First, they must have been an employee, not a contractor or self-employed worker. Second, they must have been dismissed.

Third, they must have been dismissed without a fair reason or in an unfair manner. Fourth, they must have been employed for at least two years (or one year if their employment began before April 6, 2012). Finally, they must make the claim within three months of their dismissal.

Did you know?

Usually, you can only claim unfair dismissal if you have been working for the employer for at least two years. However, there are some exceptions, so it’s definitely worth going to a professional who can give you a more accurate answer based on your specific situation.

The legal argument for an unfair dismissal claim

In an unfair dismissal claim, the employee must show that their employer did not have a fair reason for dismissing them or that the dismissal process was unfair. The law recognises five fair reasons for dismissal: conduct, capability, redundancy, illegality or another substantial reason.

The employer must provide evidence that they had a fair reason for dismissal and that they followed a fair procedure in dismissing the employee. The procedure should include the opportunity for the employee to respond to any allegations and the right to appeal the decision.

If the employee was not offered a chance to change their behaviour in response to allegations or was not given the opportunity to appeal the decision, then they have a right to an unfair dismissal claim and could receive compensation.

Key Facts

The amount of successful unfair dismissal claims in employment tribunals is seeing an upward trend. In 2021/22, there were 630 successful unfair dismissal claims external link icon white that received compensation, which is an increase of 51% from the previous year.

The evidence needed to support an unfair dismissal claim

To support an unfair dismissal claim, the employee will need to provide evidence to show that their dismissal was unfair. The evidence that could be used for this includes witness statements, written correspondence and any other relevant documents.

If an employee kept a record of their conversations and meetings with their employer, including any disciplinary or grievance hearings, this will also be advantageous. It’s important to keep this evidence safe and secure, as it may be required during the claims process. A lack of evidence could also mean the difference between securing compensation or not.

Did you know?

It’s harder to prove a constructive dismissal than an unfair dismissal, but if you think you have been treated wrongly, you may still be able to claim. Talk to a professional to find out whether making a claim is the best route for you.

How much could you get?

If an employee is successful in an unfair dismissal claim, they may be awarded compensation. The amount of compensation will depend on various factors, including the length of service, the employee’s age and their salary. If you were dismissed between April 2021 and April 2022 external link icon light blue, the maximum amount of compensation that can be awarded is either 52 weeks’ pay or £89,493, whichever is lower. For claims made after April 2022, the maximum entitlement is £93,878. This includes any statutory redundancy pay that the employee may be entitled to.

Key Facts

The average amount awarded for unfair dismissal claims in 2021/22 was £13,541 external link icon white

How long does an unfair dismissal claim typically take?

The length of time an unfair dismissal claim takes can vary depending on the complexity of the case and the workload of the employment tribunal. On average, a claim can take between 6 and 12 months to reach a final hearing. However, some claims may be resolved earlier through negotiation or alternative dispute resolution methods.

The claims process

The claims process for an unfair dismissal claim involves several stages. First, the employee should try to resolve the issue informally with their employer. If this is not successful, the employee should raise a formal grievance. If the grievance does not resolve the issue, the employee can then make a claim to an employment tribunal. The tribunal will consider the evidence presented by both parties and make a decision. If the employee is successful, the tribunal will determine the appropriate compensation.

This can be a lengthy process, and one that is especially difficult to handle if you feel you have been wrongly treated and the relationship between you and your previous employer is negative. The best way to avoid this situation is to let us match you with a specialist claim partner who will manage your case and provide you regular updates throughout the process. This way, you can be sure that you’re getting the best outcome, without wasting any of your time or energy which could be better spent.

Common questions

Can I claim unfair dismissal if I was made redundant?

Yes, if you believe that your employer did not follow a fair redundancy process or that you were unfairly selected for redundancy, you can make a claim.

Can I claim unfair dismissal if I resigned?

No, you can’t claim unfair dismissal if you resigned. However, you may be able to make a claim for constructive dismissal if you resigned due to your employer’s conduct. This can be more difficult to prove, but it’s worth speaking to a claims professional to get a better idea of whether it is worth it for you.

For more common questions, please refer to the specific claim pages or read our general FAQs page.

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