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Truth Legal solicitors specialises in unfair dismissal claims, often representing clients on No Win, No Fee agreements. Sometimes, our clients can use their Legal Expenses Insurance on their home insurance to fund their claims.

Our experienced Employment law team is run by Navya Shekhar, supported by Mirek Ksiezarek, and Katherine Swinn, here to help you secure the compensation you deserve.

Who can make an Unfair Dismissal Claim?

You are only eligible to make an unfair dismissal claim if:

You are an employee who has completed 2 years’ of service without a break.

You will not be able to make a claim if you have served notice of your employment expiring before that 2-year period ends.

That service must have been performed in Great Britain or, at the very least, must have had a sufficient connection with Great Britain.


What is a fair dismissal?

  1. The employer can show that the reason (or the main reason) for the dismissal was potentially fair. There are five potentially fair reasons for a dismissal.
  2. If an Employment Tribunal finds that after taking all the circumstances into consideration – including the employer’s size and resources – the employer acted reasonably in treating the above reason as a sufficient reason for the dismissal. An Employment Tribunal will need to determine whether the dismissal is both “procedurally” and “substantively” fair.

Bringing an Unfair Dismissal Claim

Potential claimants must first contact ACAS to commence Early Conciliation. If the case is not settled during ACAS Early Conciliation, then ACAS will provide an Early Conciliation Certificate. With this Early Conciliation Certificate in hand, an employee wanting to make an unfair dismissal claim can lodge an ET1 (the claim), bearing in mind the very tight time limits. Prior to this step, however, a potential Claimant should seek legal advice, particularly to see if a No Win, No Fee agreement can be offered by a specialist employment solicitor.

At an employment tribunal trial (most claims settle or are withdrawn before an unfair dismissal claim goes to a trial), it is the employee’s obligation to prove the fact of the dismissal. Then, if the employee can establish the dismissal, the burden of proof transfers to the employer to prove that the reason for the dismissal falls within one of the five potentially fair reasons.

Written reasons for the dismissal

Employees with two years’ service who are dismissed are entitled – upon their request – to a written statement which sets out the reasons for the dismissal. An employer ought to provide the written reasons within 14 days of the dismissal.

Importantly, employees who are on statutory maternity, or adoption leave, when dismissed, must be given a written statement of reasons, irrespective of how long they have been employed.

Recent success story

£71,000 Compensation for Paramedic Unfairly Dismissed After an Accident at Work

£71,000 Compensation

Employment Tribunal Costs

For a straightforward unfair & wrongful dismissal case, the costs are:

Service Truth Legal Expert Cost
Employment Tribunal Navya Shekhar (Head of Employment) From £180+ vat per hour
Katherine Swinn From £180+vat per hour
Miroslaw Ksiezarek (Mirek) From £150+ vat per hour
Sanjay Rall From £150+ vat per hour

Please note, for more complex cases, the rates are likely to be higher.

Unfair dismissal claims on hourly rate or fixed fee

On an hourly rated basis, it isn’t possible to say precisely how much it will cost you to bring an unfair dismissal claim. This is because it depends on a number of factors:

  1. How far the case goes – does it settle very quickly or does it go to trial?
  2. How much help you want.
  3. Which lawyer you want working for you.
  4. How your opponent reacts.
  5. The decisions of the Employment Tribunal Judge.
  6. How much documentation there is.
  7. How many witnesses each side want to use.

We are happy to agree fixed fees with you to get you to particular points in your Unfair Dismissal claim, capping the amount of time spent on your case so you know exactly how much a particular stage will cost you.

If you are not being represented by us on a No Win, No Fee agreement, then to take an Unfair Dismissal claim to trial could cost you:

  • Between £6,000 (+vat of £1,200) to £16,000 (+vat of £3,200)
  • Between £7,200 (incl. vat of £1,200) to £19,200 (incl. vat of £3,200).

On top of this, if the claim goes to trial, you would need to pay for a barrister to represent you. Barristers vary in cost depending upon how experienced they are. On the cheaper side of the spectrum a barrister may cost £650 per day plus VAT, though the very top barristers, known as QCs, can cost thousands of pounds per day. An Unfair Dismissal trial usually lasts for one day, but can take a number of days. You can select your own barrister, usually taking advice from us.

If you win your Unfair Dismissal trial, then there is a chance that you may be able to reclaim some of your legal costs from the losing side. Much depends upon how reasonable your opponent has been in defending the claim. Conversely, if you lose your claim, there is a risk that you will have to pay some of your opponent’s legal fees.

No Win, No Fee Unfair Dismissal Costs

Under a No Win, No Fee agreement, depending upon what is agreed between solicitors and client, the most that a solicitor can deduct for legal fees from the compensation is 35% inclusive of VAT. By way of example, if we agree a 35% deduction with you and we obtain a £10,000 settlement for you, you would receive £6,500 and we would be paid £3,500 inclusive of VAT irrespective of how much work we have done.

If your claim goes to trial for one day and you need a barrister to represent you who costs £900 including VAT, if you are awarded, for example, £15,000, then you would pay solicitor’s fees of £5,250 inclusive of VAT, plus barrister’s fees of £900 inclusive of VAT, leaving you with £8,850. At the end of the trial in which you won, your barrister would request a contribution towards your legal fees. If, say, you were awarded £2,000 towards your legal fees, then you would in effect have £10,850 in your hand.

Unfair Dismissal claims paid by Legal Expenses Insurance

If you have the benefit of Legal Expenses Insurance, it may mean you do not have to pay for anything yourself. Provided your unfair dismissal claim has a reasonable chance of success, your insurers may be able to financially support your claim. We will need to update your insurers as to how much work has been carried out on your behalf and keep them informed as to how your case is progressing.

Crowdfunding your unfair dismissal claim

We have also partnered with CrowdJustice, a leading crowdfunding platform specifically designed to help clients get access to funding for their case. Find out more about Crowdfunding for legal cases.

What happens if the employee wins an unfair dismissal claim?

If the employment tribunal finds that an employee was unfairly dismissed it will decide what to award. An employment tribunal will consider reinstatement (getting the same job back), re-engagement (getting a different job at the same employer) and compensation.

Normally, an employee who has been unfairly dismissed will not want to work for the employer again!

Unfair dismissal compensation is split into the basic award and the compensatory award.

What is basic award compensation?

The basic award is calculated in the same way as a statutory redundancy payment (see the government’s redundancy pay calculator). The formula takes into account the Claimant’s age, length of service and the amount of a week’s pay (which is capped). An employment tribunal also has the right reduce the basic award if the employee’s conduct prior to dismissal was poor.

What is the compensatory award?

The compensatory award for unfair dismissal is such an amount as the employment tribunal thinks is “just and equitable” based on the loss to the unfairly dismissed employee. Such compensation can include net salary, pension and benefits, until the unfairly dismissed employee finds new employment (depending on rate of pay), or for such a period as the employment tribunal thinks is fair depending on all the circumstances of the case. It is essential that a dismissed employee uses his or her best endeavours to find suitable employment and keeps evidence of their efforts.

An employment tribunal has the power to reduce the compensatory award if, say, the unfairly dismissed employee would have been dismissed had a fair procedure been followed; or that the unfairly dismissed employee would have been fired in due course; or that the unfairly dismissed employee contributed to their own dismissal.

If an employer failed to follow the ACAS Code, then the compensation can be increased by up to 25%. Also, the compensation cannot be more than a year’s full pay or more than the statutory cap £89,493 (for dismissals between 6 April 2021 and 5 April 2022). This cap increases each year.

Legal Guide

Read our extensive legal guide for more information on unfair dismissal claims.

  • Everything You Need To Know About Unfair Dismissal Claims

    Reading time: 28 minutes

    Employment Law

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