Legal Article - Employment Law

Unfair Dismissal Remedies

An employee who has been unfairly dismissed has a choice of one of three remedies:
• Reinstatement
• Re-engagement
• Compensation


This has the effect of the employee going back into his job as if nothing had happened.

A Tribunal must consider, in deciding whether to make an order for reinstatement:
• Whether the employee wishes to be reinstated
• Whether it is practical
• If the employee contributed to his dismissal, whether it would be just to order reinstatement.


This is putting the employee into a different but comparable job to the original employment.

A re-engagement order will specify:
• The employer’s identity
• The nature of employment
• Remuneration
• Arrears
• The rights and privileges to be restored to the employee, and
• The date by which the order must take effect.

The Tribunal cannot listen to the argument that the employee has been replaced unless:
• It was not practicable to arrange for the work to be done any other way or
• A reasonable time had passed without the employer being aware that reinstatement or reengagement would be requested.

An employer may argue against reinstatement or re-engagement on the ground that it would have a poor effect on industrial relations but this must be substantiated. Refusal to comply with a reinstatement or re-engagement order may result in an additional compensatory award being made.


If an Industrial Tribunal find that a dismissal was unfair and re-instatement or reengagement are not options, they will go on to assess compensation (or allow the parties to do so). Awards may consist of four elements:
• Basic
• Compensatory
• Additional

But usually will involve only the first two elements.


Published: 03 Jun 2011


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