Wrongful dismissal is a misleading phrase, not to be confused with unfair dismissal. Wrongful dismissal actually means that you were dismissed and then you weren’t paid your notice period. For example, let’s say that your contract of employment stipulates that your employer has to give a month’s notice to terminate your employment. But your employer tells you that you are dismissed and you should go home immediately, and that you won’t be paid your month’s notice. That’s wrongful dismissal, and you could have a claim in the employment tribunal or preferably a settlement agreement to be negotiated.
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Gross misconduct & wrongful dismissal
The most common form of wrongful dismissal claim in the Employment Tribunal is whereby the employer argues that the employee was guilty of gross misconduct, but the employee argues that they were innocent of gross misconduct. You see, in gross misconduct scenarios at work, the employer is entitled by law to dismiss you without paying your notice pay. That is because by your actions you have effectively torn up the contract of employment, and therefore your entitlement to notice pay goes with it. Classic examples of gross misconduct include:
- Punching the boss
- Fingers in the till
Top 3 TIPS
- Appeal any dismissal decision
- Check your notice period
- Keep records of your job applications
Getting another job during your notice period
Bear in mind that if you are fortunate enough to get another job during your notice period, then this would reduce any claim for compensation you might have in an Employment Tribunal. That is because you have ‘mitigated’ you loss. Say your notice pay was worth £3000 net, but you earned £2000 net in the notice period, then you have only lost £1,000 net, so that is the value of your claim.
Of course you don’t have to disclose to your ex-employer the fact that you have got a new job prior to issuing tribunal proceedings (you need to declare it at that point) so unless they ask you then they may well assume that you haven’t. In a strong case we would normally negotiate the payment of the notice pay plus a payment reflecting future loss as well, and such a deal would be enshrined in a settlement agreement.
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