Sacked Over The Phone! – Client Story: Unfair Dismissal Claim
I was delighted to help a lovely client with her unfair dismissal claim. Read her story.My client had been employed by a company for seven years. She had worked hard and been a loyal employee. She thought she had a good relationship with her employers.
Due to a misunderstanding, she had taken a day off work without authorisation. As a consequence, she had received a formal disciplinary warning from her employer. She fully accepted the warning, she knew she was in the wrong and she made no attempt to blame anyone but herself. She apologised to her employer and understood a disciplinary warning was necessary.
She received a copy of the written warning in the post. There was also a handwritten note asking her to contact her manager. When she did, she was told that he was going to “let her go” because of her unauthorised absence. My client was bewildered by this. She had received a copy of the disciplinary warning earlier that day. She understood she was at fault; but, she had also understood the matter was concluded.
During the course of the telephone call, her manager then terminated her employment with immediate effect. She was not allowed back to her workplace and he subsequently forwarded her P45 and outstanding pay. There was no disciplinary hearing; she was given no opportunity to appeal; and, she received no explanation as to why she was being dismissed for a matter where she had already received a disciplinary warning.
My client met me for a Fixed Fee Consultation and we went through the situation together. I had no hesitation in advising her that she had been unfairly dismissed and that she had an excellent unfair dismissal claim to bring before the Employment Tribunal. I then arranged for my client to use her Legal Expenses Insurance (which was part of her home and contents policy) to fund my representation of her during her Employment Tribunal claim.
Throughout the litigation, we received letters from her employer’s solicitors making various statements about her claim. They were not employment law specialists and clearly had not grasped the strength of my client’s position. However, this did not stop them threatening my client with legal costs (which they would never have received) and trying to bully her out of her unfair dismissal claim. The statements made were:-
- alleging she had no legitimate claim (which was obviously not true);
- alleging she had committed all sorts of acts of misconduct (which had never been raised with her before); and,
- making a number of unpleasant personal comments which was simply cruel and unnecessary.
I reassured my client that she had an excellent claim and she should keep going forward with her litigation. I also reassured her that she had nothing to fear as the Employment Tribunal would give short shrift to any suggestion she should pay her employer’s legal costs.
About a month before the Employment Tribunal hearing, we started to receive offers from my client’s employer to settle her claim. Right at the beginning, before we had even issued the claim, I had discussed with my client what I believed her claim was worth. We identified a figure she would be happy with by way of settlement.
The offers were coming thick and fast, often with further threats about costs and derisory comments about my client. However, we stood our ground until she was offered the settlement figure we had agreed upon at the beginning. Then, and only then, did she settle her unfair dismissal claim.
My client was delighted with the outcome and sent me a lovely card. For my part, I was very pleased to have been able to help. If you have an employment problem and need some help finding a way forward, give me a call on 01522 539501. Alternatively, to find out more about what we do at Lincs Law Solicitors and how we do it, visit our website at www.lincslaw.co.uk
Specialist Employment Law Solicitor
Lincs Law, Lincoln