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Chapter

Cover Card & James' Business Law

28. The termination of employment  

This chapter examines the procedures and the obligations of employers in relation to the termination of employment. It discusses the concept of dismissal and the different types of dismissal. These include termination upon notice, termination upon expiry of a limited-term contract, summary dismissal, constructive dismissal, wrongful dismissal, and unfair dismissal. Each of these forms of dismissal is discussed in detail, including an examination of the requirements for establishing dismissal and the damages that can be awarded for dismissal in breach of the law. Finally, the chapter discusses when a worker is entitled to receive redundancy pay and how such pay is assessed.

Chapter

Cover Selwyn's Law of Employment

16. Wrongful Dismissal  

Under the law which existed prior to 1971, an employer was entitled to dismiss an employee for any reason or no reason at all. In 1971 the Industrial Relations Act created the right for many employees not to be unfairly dismissed, and though that Act was repealed, the relevant provisions were substantially re-enacted in the Trade Union and Labour Relations Act 1974, and further changes were made by the Employment Protection Act 1975. The Employment Rights Act 1996 (as amended) contains most of the relevant statutory provisions currently in force. This chapter discusses the ways in which wrongful dismissal may occur, collateral contracts, summary dismissal, and employment law remedies.

Chapter

Cover Smith & Wood's Employment Law

6. Termination of the employment contract at common law  

This chapter looks at termination of employment at common law, and at the breach of employment contract action known as ‘wrongful dismissal’. It first discusses ways in which the contract might untypically end by operation of law rather than the ‘dismissal’ on which many employee rights rest. The chapter then considers the right of either party to terminate most contracts by giving notice—a major feature of UK employment law—and the ability of the employer to dismiss summarily for gross misconduct. It concludes with a detailed analysis of the principal remedy for an employee at common law—the action for wrongful dismissal—which is completely separate and different from statutory unfair dismissal despite an unfortunate tendency for the press to treat them as interchangeable.

Chapter

Cover Smith & Wood's Employment Law

6. Termination of the employment contract at common law  

Ian Smith, Owen Warnock, and Gemma Mitchell

This chapter looks at termination of employment at common law, and at the breach of employment contract action known as ‘wrongful dismissal’. It first discusses ways in which the contract might untypically end by operation of law rather than the ‘dismissal’ on which many employee rights rest. The chapter then considers the right of either party to terminate most contracts by giving notice—a major feature of UK employment law—and the ability of the employer to dismiss summarily for gross misconduct. It concludes with a detailed analysis of the principal remedy for an employee at common law—the action for wrongful dismissal—which is completely separate and different from statutory unfair dismissal, despite an unfortunate tendency for the press to treat them as interchangeable.

Chapter

Cover Selwyn's Law of Employment

20. Practice and Procedure  

An employee seeking the enforcement of a statutory right, or to obtain a remedy for a breach of that right, must present his claim to an employment tribunal. This chapter discusses the rules for making a claim to an employment tribunal and the employment tribunal procedure. It looks at time limits and the effective date of termination, and considers the mechanics of submitting and defending a claim; the various stages of proceedings such as preliminary hearings and case management as well as the final hearing; remedies including compensation, basic award and compensatory award; vexatious litigants; costs and appeals to the Employment Appeal Tribunal and beyond.

Chapter

Cover Business Law

21. Statutory Regulation of Dismissals  

This chapter considers the termination of employment, and how it is governed by statutory measures—in cases of unfair dismissal—and the common law—in cases of wrongful dismissal. Each of these provisions outline important factors when the contract is to be ended. Being aware of the procedures involved in each of these areas of law will ensure terminations can take effect without unnecessary recourse to court or tribunal action, saving time and money. In dismissing an employee, the law provides for the correct procedure to be adopted, the potentially fair reasons that justify a dismissal, along with automatically unfair reasons to dismiss an employee. Disregarding these may lead to claims for unfair dismissal, the defence of which can be expensive for employers.

Chapter

Cover Business Law

20. Ending Employment Contracts at Common Law; and Duties to Redundant and Transferring Staff  

This chapter identifies the remedy for the termination of contracts of employment through the common law claim of wrongful dismissal. It addresses situations of redundancy, and the rights of individuals and obligations on employers when the business is transferred to a new owner. Each of these measures offer protection to employees, and employers should understand the nature of these rights, the qualifications necessary for each mechanism, and the remedies available, to ensure they select the most appropriate mechanism to bring the employment relationship to an end. Before the 1960s, contracts of employment were largely dealt with by the ‘normal’ rules of contract law and were often heard by courts that hear contractual disputes. It is important to be aware of the mechanisms that will enable termination of the employment relationship without transgressing the law in order to maintain good working relations.

Chapter

Cover Selwyn's Law of Employment

15. Rights in Notice  

One of the features which distinguish a contract of employment from other contractual situations is that a contract of employment is one of continuous obligation with, generally speaking, no specified time for its ending. If either the employer or employee wishes to terminate the contract, notice of such termination must be given. This chapter explores the rights and duties of both the parties to give and receive lawful notice in the event of a termination, ie if there is a dismissal or resignation. It also considers the taxation of payments, pay in lieu of notice, rights during the notice period, ‘garden leave’, notice pay on insolvency, and time limits.

Chapter

Cover Employment Law Concentrate

9. Unfair dismissal  

Each Concentrate revision guide is packed with essential information, key cases, revision tips, exam Q&As, and more. Concentrates show you what to expect in a law exam, what examiners are looking for, and how to achieve extra marks. This chapter discusses the law on unfair dismissal. The principal cases are discussed in full. It is easy to get lost in the mass of case law and concentration must be kept on the statute and these leading cases. The employer must demonstrate that the reason for the dismissal relates to capability or qualifications, conduct, a statutory ban, or some other substantial reason of a kind to justify the dismissal. An employer must act reasonably in treating a reason as sufficient for dismissal. This is the famous ‘range of reasonable responses’ test. It should be guided by the ACAS Code of Practice 2015 and must follow contractual procedures. The remedies for unfair dismissal include re-employment or compensation.

Chapter

Cover Smith & Wood's Employment Law

2. Contracts of employment (1): status, formation, continuity, and change  

This chapter discusses the way in which the law has had to keep up with changing models of ‘employment’. Even the old ‘employee/self-employed’ division is now complicated by increasing use in modern statutes of the term ‘worker’. Part-time, fixed-term, and agency workers have featured prominently in modern employment law and consideration is given to these specifically, along with even more topical areas of concern such as zero-hour contracts and the challenges of the ‘gig economy’ more generally. Three more technical areas are then considered. The first concerns the ‘section 1 statement’ of basic terms and conditions that has been an obligation on employers since 1963 but is still not always given. The second concerns the difficult question of the extent to which an employer can seek to impose limitations on an employee even after employment ends. The third concerns the whole question of how the terms of an employment contract can lawfully be changed by one or both of the parties to it.

Chapter

Cover Smith & Wood's Employment Law

2. Contracts of employment (1): status, formation, continuity, and change  

Ian Smith, Owen Warnock, and Gemma Mitchell

This chapter discusses the way in which the law has had to keep up with changing models of ‘employment’. Even the old ‘employee/self-employed’ division is now complicated by increasing use in modern statutes of the term ‘worker’. Part-time, fixed-term, and agency workers have featured prominently in modern employment law and consideration is given to these specifically, along with even more topical areas of concern such as zero-hour contracts and the challenges of the ‘gig economy’ more generally. Three more technical areas are then considered. The first concerns the ‘section 1 statement’ of basic terms and conditions that has been an obligation on employers since 1963 but is still not always given. The second concerns the difficult question of the extent to which an employer can seek to impose limitations on an employee even after employment ends. The third concerns the whole question of how the terms of an employment contract can lawfully be changed by one or both of the parties to it.