Q. What is the difference between unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal?
A. A wrongful dismissal claim is a claim based upon the breach by the employer of the employee's contract of employment, which if successful, allows the employee to seek damages.
A claim of unfair dismissal is a breach of an employee's statutory right not to be unfairly dismissed from work. If an employee presents a successful claim of unfair dismissal, he or she is entitled to receive a basic award of damages together with a further compensatory award for losses arising from the termination of employment. Generally, awards for unfair dismissal are significantly higher than wrongful dismissal awards. However, an employee must usually be employed for at least one year to qualify for the right to claim unfair dismissal.
Q. Do employees have a legal right to receive a contract of employment?
A. No, but they do have the right to receive a written statement of the terms and conditions of their employment within two months of starting work. An employee may submit an application to an Employment Tribunal if his or her employer fails to provide such a statement.
Q. What are the Working Time Regulations?
A. The Working Time Regulations are a set of minimum standards set by the Government concerning average weekly working time and night work, daily and weekly rest periods, in-work breaks and the setting of annual holiday entitlement. The rules apply to the majority of workers, although there are a number of excluded work classes. The rules provide (amongst other things) a maximum working week of 48 hours and for an entitlement to 4.8 weeks paid leave from work for the majority of workers.