Client Story: Unfair Dismissal
I have recently achieved a settlement for my client who was pursuing an Unfair Dismissal claim in the Employment Tribunal. When I first met with my client, she had been offered a Settlement Agreement but following my advice she chose to pursue an Employment Tribunal claim instead. Read on to learn more.
My Client’s Story
I met with my client for a Settlement Agreement towards the end of 2019. At the time of our appointment, she had been suspended from work due to disciplinary allegations being raised against her. The allegations were brief, without an explanation and my client disagreed with them. The disciplinary investigation was yet to commence but the company had told her that her employment would likely be terminated by way of Gross Misconduct. So as to avoid her employment terminating in this way, the company had offered her a Settlement Agreement which simply comprised of her notice pay.
It was clear during our appointment that she had no clue what her actions of gross misconduct could be. Unfortunately, given the limited information I had at the time, I could not advise her on whether the termination of her employment would be fair or unfair. That said, we did discuss whether she was willing to enter into a Settlement Agreement to receive her notice pay only, at this stage.
I advised my client that presently the company had not commenced an investigation and she was entitled to full pay during her suspension. It was likely that the investigation and possible disciplinary action would take just as long, in time, as if she received her notice pay now. Therefore, I could not see any financial benefit in terminating her employment now and waiving any right to pursue a claim in the future. She agreed.
How Did I Help?
The first instruction I received was to try and increase the company’s offer of settlement. They were not prepared to do this and began the disciplinary investigation. My second instruction was to put forward representations as part of the disciplinary investigation and submit a Formal Grievance on her behalf. The whole disciplinary procedure took six months to reach it’s conclusion and my client’s employment was terminated.
However, I now had all the information available to me so that I could advise her on her prospects of success in pursuing an Unfair Dismissal Claim. I considered her prospects were good and we set out to discuss how she would fund her claim.
Legal Expenses Insurance
The best way to fund an Employment Tribunal Claim is by way of legal expenses insurance. I asked my client to check her house insurance, car insurance etc to see if she had the benefit of it. She did and so I wrote to her insurance company and they agreed to fund the entire cost of her claim.
I submitted her claim to the Employment Tribunal and awaited the company’s response. I also prepared a Schedule of Loss which set out the value of her claims and submitted this to the company, together with an offer of settlement. They were now interested to discuss compensation.
I was delighted when my client received a compensatory payment of £15,000 and a good agreed factual reference. She had already secured alternative employment and so her financial loss had been minimal. From our very first meeting she was offered her notice pay alone. Now she had received six months of full pay whilst the company conducted their investigation and she was now also receiving an additional £15,000, together with a good reference for future use.
How Can I Help You?
If you have any Employment Law issue, or if you have received a Settlement Agreement please do not hesitate to get in touch on 01522 440512. Alternatively, you can read more on Unfair Dismissal here; https://lincslaw.co.uk/services/employees/resignation-dismissal-and-redundancy/unfair-dismissal/