There are two main sources of law that relate to your rights upon dismissal – your contractual rights under your contract of employment (common law) and your statutory rights (principally under the Employment Rights Act 1996).
Should you be dismissed and your dismissal contravenes either the express or implied terms under your contract of employment you can advance a claim for wrongful dismissal in either the County Court (High Court for claims upwards of £25,000) or the Employment Tribunal. You would, regardless of where you are issuing, be entitled (upon establishing breach and causation) be able to claim unspecified or liquidated damages to compensate you to the extent of the position that you would have been in had your contract been fulfilled. However, there are tax implications involved in the Employment Tribunal for claims of over £30,000 and you may be subject to a cap on your compensation. You are also subject to a duty to mitigate any loss in both ‘courts’.
You also have a statutory right not to be unfairly dismissed under s.94 of the Employment Rights Act 1996. This is a relatively complex area of law and there are certain qualifications that an employee must have in order to pursue their rights, as well as intricate points of law that the employee must satisfy so as to successfully pursue a claim for unfair dismissal.
An employee’s statutory right under s.94 ERA 96 will be addressed in our first series of blog posts on the law relating to dismissal.