What does this mean?
If your employer does not give you the rights you are entitled to under your contract of employment, for example, your employer does not give you the correct notice of dismissal that you are entitled to under your contract, this is known as a breach of contract.
Breach of contract
Your employer may pay you an amount of money as compensation instead of giving you notice of dismissal or allowing you to work out your notice. This is called pay in lieu of notice. If there is a term in your contract which allows your employer to pay you pay in lieu of notice instead of giving you notice, then provided you are paid the correct amount there will be no breach of contract.
If your employer does not give you the correct notice and does not pay you in lieu instead, or does not pay the right amount, you may be able to claim compensation for the breach of the contract by making a claim for wrongful dismissal. Your employer should follow a proper dismissal procedure before dismissing you. Otherwise, the dismissal will be automatically unfair.
Bringing a claim
Where wrongful dismissal occurs the claimant has the option of either bringing the claim before the Employment Tribunal or County Court. A tribunal claim will generally have to be brought within three months of the dismissal and can recover maximum damages of £25,000 only. Court proceedings can be issued within six years of the dismissal and bear no such cap on damages.
If you believe that you have been wrongly dismissed from your place of work, or are unclear about your position, then please do not hesitate to get in touch with us to see if you have a claim.