Wrongful dismissal and mitigation
Wrongful dismissal and mitigation

The following Employment practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Wrongful dismissal and mitigation
  • Exceptions
  • Failure to mitigate

Wrongful dismissal and mitigation

An employee who is wrongfully dismissed is under a duty to take reasonable steps to mitigate their loss: in other words, to make reasonable efforts to find new work. If the employee succeeds in obtaining another job, the employee must give credit to the former employer for the salary and benefits the employee receives from the new job.

The duty to mitigate requires the employee to act as they would have done if they did not expect to recover any compensation from their former employer. An employee cannot sit back and do nothing on the basis that they will be compensated later.

However, an employee is allowed a reasonable period after dismissal to 'lick their wounds' and draw breath before relaunching themselves on the job market. An employee is also allowed to set their sights reasonably high: in other words, to seek—initially at least—to get a job of equivalent pay and status to the one they have lost. However, where the employee cannot get such a job, they are expected to lower their sights progressively and take a realistic and pragmatic view of their job prospects. As the injured party, the requirement to

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