United Kingdom flag


In the realm of employment law, understanding your rights and the remedies available to you if those rights are infringed upon is crucial. One such right pertains to the issue of unfair dismissal—a situation no employee wishes to face but many unfortunately do. This article aims to demystify the concept of the basic award for unfair dismissal in the UK, offering a beacon of hope and guidance for those navigating through such challenging times. Moreover, we will introduce how Contend, a revolutionary AI legal tech startup, is making legal assistance accessible and understandable for everyone in the UK.

For help with questions related to your issue, you can chat with one of Contend’s legal experts, and get immediate answers to your legal questions.

What is Unfair Dismissal?

Unfair dismissal occurs when an employer terminates an employee’s contract without a fair reason or fails to follow the proper process for the dismissal. In the UK, employees have the right to challenge such dismissals, seeking remedies that may include compensation or reinstatement. Understanding the grounds for what constitutes an unfair dismissal is the first step in claiming your rights.

Employment: basic award unfair dismissal

The Basic Award: A Closer Look

When talking about compensation for unfair dismissal, there are two main components: the basic award and the compensatory award. This article focuses on the basic award, which is calculated similarly to statutory redundancy pay and considers your age, gross weekly pay, and length of service.

Calculating Your Basic Award

The calculation is straightforward but must adhere to certain caps and limits set by legislation. Here’s a simplified breakdown:

  • 0.5 week’s pay for each full year you were under 22,
  • 1 week’s pay for each full year you were 22 or older, but under 41,
  • 1.5 weeks’ pay for each full year you were 41 or older.

Remember, there are limits to the weekly pay amount and the total years of service that can be counted. This ensures the basic award remains within reasonable bounds. If you’ve worked for your employer for at least 2 years and work regular hours, you can calculate your basic award on GOV.UK – it’s the same as statutory redundancy pay.

Eligibility and Exceptions

Not everyone is eligible for a basic award following an unfair dismissal. Certain exceptions, such as dismissal due to illegal activity, may disqualify you. Understanding these nuances is key to determining whether you should pursue a claim.

Beyond the Basic: The Compensatory Award

While the basic award compensates for the loss of job tenure, the compensatory award reflects actual financial loss suffered due to the dismissal. This can include lost wages, benefits, and expenses incurred while seeking new employment. The calculation of this award is more complex and tailored to the individual’s circumstances.

How Contend Can Help

Facing an unfair dismissal can be daunting, especially when trying to navigate the legal intricacies alone. This is where Contend steps in. Our AI-driven platform offers personalized legal guidance, helping you understand your rights and the steps you can take to seek justice. Chatting with our AI legal assistant provides clear answers to your legal questions, including how to calculate your potential basic award for unfair dismissal, all in five minutes or less. You can check what the loss of a company car is worth on GOV.UK.

The Contend Advantage

Built by lawyers and legal experts, Contend ensures that the advice you receive is reliable and tailored to your unique situation. Whether you’re calculating your basic award, understanding the eligibility criteria, or exploring further legal actions, Contend is your partner in navigating through these challenging times.


Unfair dismissal not only affects your current livelihood but can also impact your future employment opportunities. Understanding your right to a basic award for unfair dismissal is the first step toward claiming the compensation you deserve. With Contend’s revolutionary AI technology, legal guidance is now more accessible and understandable than ever. If you’re facing an unfair dismissal, don’t navigate this journey alone. Let Contend guide you towards a resolution, empowering you to take the necessary steps to protect your rights and secure your future.

Take Action with Contend

If you believe you’ve been unfairly dismissed and are considering your options for compensation, chat now with Contend’s legal expert. Our AI-driven platform is designed to demystify the legal process, providing you with the guidance and support you need to move forward confidently.

You can click here to chat with one of Contend’s legal experts today.

For more info, check out some of our related articles:

Contend logo and icon in light purple

Solve your legal question quickly
and easily with Contend.

This material is for general information only and does not constitute
tax, legal or any other form of advice. You should not rely on any
information contained herein to make (or refrain from making) any
decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your
own particular situation. Contend Inc is not regulated by the
Solicitor’s Regulation Authority.