What is the Difference Between Wrongful Dismissal and Unfair Dismissal?

Lawyer is explaining about the wrongdoing laws regarding fraud to the client at the office.

A Wrongful Dismissal is never voluntary. There is a reason behind it. What if the whole matter appears unpleasantly? The person facing it may not go beyond the background of the titles, but the law has its terms for every single issue.

Regardless an employee must possess an idea about it. You never know if or when you may get your exemption from the job, you need a wrongful dismissal lawyer or not. Or, be it an unfair dismissal lawyer, you will need legal support.

Well, introduction to the distinction is what you can do as an inception to grasp the idea.

The difference between wrongful dismissal and unfair dismissal

Starting with definition will be the easiest clue to get into the topic. Before that, we must mention two things.

  • Wrongful dismissal is among the contractual rights. Under the Employment Rights Act 1996, one of the statutory rights is unfair dismissal.
  • Unfair dismissal has to be substantively fair, whereas wrongful dismissal does not need fairness substantively.


When there is a violation in a contract by the employer while dismissing an employee, it can be defined as wrongful dismissal. Often it happens that the employer doesn’t fulfill the responsibility of providing notice about it. Dismissing an employee before the expiry of contact can also be considered wrongful.

On the other hand, a dismissal without explanation of any reason is an unfair dismissal. Even an employee can claim unfair dismissal despite the legitimate reason behind it if there’s been a wrong procedure or exposition by the employer.

Two limb test

‘Two limb’ test is a factor regarding unfair dismissal, which is not substantial for wrongful dismissal.

The first one of the two limbs consists of conduct, capability, statutory illegality, redundancy, and other substantial reasons. A person being dismissed without any of the reasons mentioned has the legal right to claim for unfair dismissal. The second limb is if the manner of dismissal was fair or reasonable.

Also, continuous 2 years of service is a condition for claiming unfair dismissal.

Dismissal during the probation period

An employee can file wrongful dismissal while on probation as there is no condition regarding their service period.

On the other hand, an employee cannot claim unfair dismissal as there is a requirement of working for 2 years in the organization.


In an unfair dismissal, the employee can receive up to a 25% increase in compensation. Contrastingly, a claim in wrongful dismissal can bring as much as £25,000 via employment tribunal.


There are no differences in remedies for neither wrongful dismissal nor unfair dismissal. In both cases, the employee-

  • will get back to the job position
  • will receive compensation for the loss of earnings

Constructive dismissal

It is the 3rd type of the 3 main types of dismissals in the workplace. The term is for the gist when an employee resigns because of the employer’s breach of conduct. That breach of conduct can be misbehavior, unreasonable disciplinary actions, not paying salaries, etc.

Though there are dissimilarities, one thing is certain- It’s never easy for an employer to dismiss any of their employees. Be it logically or irrationally. That leaves an opportunity for a person suffering from this episode to claim.

Final Verdict

As we have mentioned before, a dismissal may not be a happy moment for you, yet you need to be aware of that. One should not let it go just after knowing and accepting. Thus, you can claim justice if you find out that something wrong has been done to you.

We hope that the article exhibited you the complete contrast about the difference between wrongful dismissal and unfair dismissal. Knowledge is never needless. We never expect you to need this knowledge in your case. Yet, who knows, it may help you someday to help someone.


Can anyone claim for wrongful and unfair dismissal at the same time?

No. These 2 cases are not interchangeable. Thus, one cannot claim for both at the same time.

When can a person claim wrongful dismissal?

There is no direct answer to the question. Normally, an employee can claim wrongful dismissal after working in a company for 6 months to 1 year. The duration can be variable for different companies.

Can an employer dismiss an employee without any notice?

No. In the occurrence of this event, the dismissed employee can claim against the employer.


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