Q: I wish to make a claim for Unfair Dismissal compensation. How will it be valued?
A: Whether a claim for unfair dismissal is heard through the Rights Commissioner, the Employment Appeals Tribunal or through the courts, the amount of compensation will be calculated in much the same way.
When deciding on the amount of your claim, your wages and/or your salary will obviously be a major factor but certain practical matters will also have to be taken in account.
In addition, there are also maximum limits under law that the different bodies hearing your appeal can award.
- Your pay
Your average gross weekly pay (minus tax and other normal weekly deductions), will be taken into account and this should also include any overtime, bonus payments, employer’s pension contributions, share options and other benefits in kind.
- Maximum limits
The Rights Commissioner normally deals with smaller awards while any larger awards can be appealed to the Employment Appeals Tribunal. The maximum award the tribunal can make is equal to 104 weeks of the claimant’s gross weekly wage.
The Circuit Court can award a maximum amount of just over € 38,000.00 while the High Court can make unlimited awards.
- Calculating financial loss
Once the weekly pay figures have been arrived at and you have taken your case in the correct forum, having regard to limits imposed under law, the next step is to consider your financial loss. When calculating your financial loss, you need to consider the following:
(i) Look at the notice you should have received. The amount of notice depends on whether there is a specific period of time mentioned in your contract of employment. It is also important to note that there are minimum notice periods defined under law, which come into affect when your contract does not mention a notice period or mentions a lesser period as determined under law.
(ii) Any future loss in income should be taken into account and it is important to ask yourself the following questions:
Have you been able to find work after your dismissal, for less pay or greater pay?
Are you now unable to work as a result of illness or incapacity?
Have your pension rights been affected?
Finally, the above factors are all important when considering the amount of any award you may be entitled to in an action against your employer for unfair dismissal but your conduct, as an employee will also be taken into account, including any acts or omissions which led to the dismissal. Your subsequent conduct post dismissal will also be taken into account, such as the effort made to find further employment and therefore mitigating your financial loss.
This article is for information purposes only and does not constitute specific legal advice, which should be obtained at all times. For more information, contact Eamon Concannon of Concannon Solicitors on 091-744 567 (after office hours on 086- 3297221) or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with any queries.