Employee Actions for Breach of Contract
An employee who does not have two years' continuous employment or who is not alleging discrimination does not qualify to claim in an employment tribunal that his or her dismissal was unfair.
However, if they have not received their due contractual notice or other contractual entitlement could exceed employment tribunal unfair dismissal limits (e.g. a senior executive on a rolling or fixed-term employment contract) the civil courts offer the action of breach of contract and potentially unlimited damages.
It is also open for the employee to sue in an employment tribunal for breach of contract, but any such claim must be limited to £25,000. They can pursue higher claims in civil courts.
Where the dispute involves a director or senior employee, with a long term or rolling contract, compensation by way of a golden handshake can dwarf employment tribunal maxima. For most non-qualifying employees, however, a breach of contract claim will generally be limited to unpaid notice and money in lieu of untaken holidays.
There is no compensation for hurt feelings, damage to reputation or not receiving of discretionary non-contractual benefits and bonuses in breach of contract terms.