Wrongful Termination VS Unfair Dismissal: What’s The Difference?

Wrongful Termination VS Unfair Dismissal: What's The Difference? What’s The Difference Between ASD And PTSD?
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ExecutiveChronicles | Wrongful Termination VS Unfair Dismissal: What’s The Difference? | Losing your job or being the person to do the firing is never a pleasant experience. The mental turmoil associated with being fired can drastically dampen a healthy lifestyle.

Most employees are hired at will; this means that the employer or employee may terminate their employment at any time, respectfully of the law.

Unfair dismissal and wrongful termination are used synonymously. HKM employment attorneys will ensure you can understand the differences. Employees can be fired at will if a clear indication is given that just cause is required to terminate a contract.

Although these claims are usually made in tandem, it is essential to know the difference between unfair dismissal and wrongful termination if you are questioning whether your termination was legal.

What Is Unfair Dismissal?

Unfair dismissal is when an employee is let go for unethical reasons. An unfair dismissal can also be invoked if an employer had just grounds but completed the termination of the employee’s contract using the wrong procedure.

The common grounds for an unethical lay-off allegation are as follows: A false motive was given, the justification given was unjust, and the notice given about their dismissal was inconsiderate.

An employer will be taken through the employment tribunal if quilty of unfair dismissal. If the employer is guilty of unfair dismissal, they will have to reinstate or compensate the employee.

An unfair dismissal case is only relevant for workers who have worked continuously (for the same employer) for two years or more.

There are, however, reasonable grounds for termination, including misconduct, lack of capacity, or redundancy. Automatic unfair dismissal will be called in case the employee violates one or more statutory rights.

What Is Wrongful Termination?

Wrongful termination occurs when an employer has violated company policy or the law during dismissal procedures. Put simply; wrongful discharge is when an employee believes they have been unjustly or illegally fired.

Wrongful termination includes harassment, breach of contract, discrimination, constructive dismissal, retaliation, and whistleblowing.

If you think you’ve been wrongfully terminated, you should review the laws in your state and your employment contract. Many states have different rules and regulations about how an employee is protected.

In cases of wrongful dismissal, you should consider getting an attorney, gathering evidence, doing your research, and avoiding discussing the situation with other employees.

The Main Differences

The main difference between wrongful termination and unfair dismissal is that the former is a contractual right while the latter is a statutory right.

Wrongful termination represents a breach of contract by an employer, while unfair dismissal looks at the fairness of the claim.


It is necessary to prove that your manager and employer acted illegally to win a wrongful termination lawsuit; this can be tricky because employers and managers don’t often admit to having illegal motives when they fire you.

In the case of unfair dismissal proving your manager’s intent is a difficult task. Regardless of your claim, you will need evidence on your side. You will need a lawyer to help you as these cases are usually complex and require an in-depth knowledge of the law.