Duhaime's Law Dictionary Unfair Dismissal Definition: A dismissal of an employee in the absence of a substantial reason. Related Terms: Wrongful Dismissal, Dismissal, Wrongful Termination, Wrongful Discharge, Employment at Will Unfair dismissal is one of several terms used by a variety of jusrisdictions to refer, essentially, to the same cause of action: a claim in breach of contract or in tort for the ending of an employment contract by an employer, for some unlawful reason: Canada prefers the term wrongful dismissal; United Kingdom and Australia prefer unfair dismissal and, less frequently, wrongful dismissal; and The United States defers to the term wrongful discharge and, less frequently, wrongful termination. A finding as to unfair dismissal is essentially an assessment of facts in each case, as the Courts defer to equity or, as stated in Halsbury's Laws of England, 4th Edition (2005), Volume 16(1B) at page 97: "... the determination as to whether the dismissal is fair or unfair, having regard to the reason shown by the employer ... must be determined in acordance with equity and the substantial merits of the case. "An employment tribunal must test both procedural and substantive elements to decide on the merits of the case." Categories & Topics: Duhaime's Employment & Labour Law Dictionary Always looking up definitions? Save time with our search provider (modern browsers only) If you find an error or omission in Duhaime's Law Dictionary, or if you have suggestion for a legal term, we'd love to hear from you!