What is the difference between Unfair Dismissal and Wrongful Dismissal?

Wrongful Dismissal
Wrongful Dismissal is where an employee has been dismissed without notice or an employee has not been given the right amount of notice, or the employment is terminated contrary to the contract. Wrongful Dismissal is based upon the actual contract between the employer and the employee and so breaches of that contract by the employer could give the employee the right to sue for Wrongful Dismissal.

There is no requirement to have been employed for at least one year in order to bring a claim.

Unfair Dismissal
Unfair Dismissal is when the following happens:

1. An employee is dismissed and they qualify for the right to bring an Unfair Dismissal claim.
2. The employer did not have a fair reason to dismiss the employee.
3. Or, the employer did have a fair reason, but the matter was dealt with unfairly.

Unfair dismissal is a statutory right as it is covered by an Act of Parliament. To qualify for Unfair Dismissal protection an employee must have the following:

1. The employee must be working full or part-time, the actual amount of hours worked per week is irrelevant. Self-employed workers are excluded. 2. At least 1 year's continuous employment. (note that there are certain exceptions)
3. Below 65 or the normal retirement age for the job at the date of their dismissal. (note that there are certain exceptions)
4. Not of an excluded category, eg. the armed forces, police and share fishermen.