Unfair Dismissal Employment Compensation Claim

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Jul 28th, 2015
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When you have been the victim of unfair dismissal, you need to consult a specialist employment lawyer. Most employment law solicitors are able to utilise the Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), or more generally referred to as the “no win no fee” agreement to represent clients in negotiations with their former employer or assist them make application to the local Employment Tribunal for hearing.

Although there is no legal requirement to instruct counsel to represent you during a tribunal hearing, it would be advisable as there is a substantial amount of compensation at stake and it is an almost certainty that your former employer will have excellent paid representation for the hearing.

The CFA is a “no risk” method to instruct an employment law solicitor to represent your best interest without paying upfront fees. The CFA is an agreement between the client and the solicitor, whereas the solicitor agrees to a predetermined percentage as their fee for representing the client. If the solicitor fails to “win” compensation, the client owes nothing in fees. This method assures the client there will be no hidden fees or surprise charges.

Employers Limitations

Employers are limited by legislation in their right to terminate an employee’s contract. An employer has the right to terminate employees that are unable or unwilling to fulfil the responsibilities of their position, provided they attempt to correct the behaviour.

There are several lawful and fair reasons to dismiss under-performers and those whose conduct or behaviour is undesirable. However, even a legal dismissal must be done in a decent and acceptable manner, in accordance with employment law regulations. When there are no permissible grounds for the termination, the employer could face a claim of unfair dismissal in a hearing before the Employment Tribunal.

Redundancy

In the case of a business closing down or a worker’s skillset is no longer required due to a change in technology and no one is needed to fill that position, that is redundancy and management might have the responsibility of deciding which of their employees they must terminate or if there is a similar position in the organisation they could fill.

An employee employed for the continuous minimum period of two years, who isselected, must be paid a “redundancy repayment.” In some cases, the redundancy repayment is less than it would be for another type of compensation at termination. If an employer proposed a pretence of redundancy that is proven false or a sham the employee could have an unfair dismissal claim.

An employer must use fair and reasonable procedures to terminate any employee, whatever the situation of dismissal entails. A reasonable employer should provide even a substandard employee with counselling appropriate to their conduct or behaviour and give them time to correct their deficiencies. When employers do not establish a fair policy for termination and adhere to their policy, they could face unfair dismissal claims at the Employment Tribunal. Damages paid as a result of unfair dismissal can be substantial so it is in their best interest to adhere to guidance within the employment law regulations.

In Northern Ireland, they must meet the “statutory minimum dismissal procedure,” and the Employment Tribunal is called the Industrial Tribunal.

Compensation Awards &Lawful Dismissal

There are at least four reasons for a lawful dismissal:

  • wrongful conduct
  • illegal acts
  • redundancy
  • poor performance

A worker’s start date of employment determines their ability to claim unfair dismissal and request hearing before the Employment Tribunal. Start dates before 6 April 2012 require a minimum one year period of employment and start dates after that date require two years, except in Northern Ireland where statutes still require a one minimum.

There are two forms of compensatory awards for a successful claim of unfair dismissal.

  • Basic Awards, though  there is a movement to discontinue the practice due to it being seen as discriminatory, are still based on age and length of employment with the current organisation. There is a maximum cap on the monetary value.
  • Compensatory Awards   may have a statutory cap; however, the basis for allowance in the compensatory award is an actual expense and a predicted financial lossbecause of termination of employment.

Statutory Time Limits

When you believe you were dismissed unfairly, it is crucial to abide by the statutory time limits that apply to Employment Tribunal claims. It is best to consult an employment law solicitor as soon as possible after termination, as there is a three-month limit on your application reaching the tribunal. The current expiration date is 4 pm on the day which is three months after the “effective date of termination.”

The tribunal has the latitude and discretion to extend the period in cases of extenuating circumstances; however, it is best not to chance losing your entitlement to pursue a claim. For More Information Visit: Employment Law Solicitors

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