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Reinstatement and re-engagement

One of the things the employment tribunal can do if you win your unfair dismissal case is order your employer to give you back your old job (‘reinstatement’) or a different job (‘re-engagement’). The term ‘re-employment’ is commonly used to refer to reinstatement and re-engagement together.

These orders are pretty rare – probably rarer than they should be. See in general this previous post on the subject.

One point to bear in mind if you are asking for re-employment is the question when your employer is ordered to re-employ you. There are two reasons why this can matter:

Practicability

If your employer fails to comply with an order for reinstatement or re-engagement, you will be entitled to an additional award of compensation unless they can show that it wasn’t practicable to comply with the order. If your employer is ordered to reinstate you too quickly, it may make it easier for them to show that it wasn’t practicable for them to comply. So think about what they will actually have to do in order to give you your job back or (more likely) find you another one, and make sure the tribunal gives them plenty of time to do it.

Back pay

If an order for reinstatement or re-engagement is made but not complied with, the cap on compensation for unfair dismissal allowed to be exceeded by however much it takes to ensure that you are fully compensated for the period of time between dismissal and the date on which you should have been re-employed. The later that date is, the longer the period for which you get guaranteed compensation notwithstanding the cap. If your case has taken a long time to come on for hearing, or you were a fairly high earner, this can make a difference to the amount of money you get.

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