Unfair Dismissal-Things to know
Under Unfair Dismissal legislation there are three possible remedies in cases where the employee is successful;
Reinstatement: the employee is returned to the position held prior to dismissal
Re-engagement: the employee is returned to a different position to that held prior to dismissal.
Award of Compensation: the employee is awarded a financial sum through the Workplace Relations Commission or Labour Court.
Of the three, Compensation is the most common remedy.
The legislation allows a maximum award of two years (104 weeks) remuneration. However, it is worth noting that this is not restricted to just the basic salary paid to the employee. Remuneration includes items such as; company vehicle, car allowance private health insurance, share options, employer’s pension scheme contributions, bonuses & commissions. Therefore, the actual figure could be significantly greater than the basic annual salary.
Compensation is awarded based solely on the actual financial loss incurred, regardless of the unfairness of the decision to dismiss. Consequently, by way of example; if an employee starts a new position which offers an equivalent package, two months after dismissal the actual loss is two months’ remuneration.
In the event that the employee starts a new job and has suffered no financial loss, the legislation allows for an award up to 4 weeks’ remuneration.
Future loss might be considered also when calculating an award of compensation. Therefore anticipated difficulties that might prevent the employee securing employment in the future could contribute to the final figure.
Employees bringing a claim of Unfair Dismissal are required to mitigate their loss; which means they must endeavour to procure alternative employment, as soon as possible. Employees will be expected to evidence this with Job Applications and responses received from employers; compensation can be reduced or not awarded at all, if an effort to secure employment cannot be demonstrated.