£16,000 Compensation in Unfair Dismissal Claim

Author:
Stephen Pinder
Partner, Employment Law Solicitor
Date:
30/09/2019

An Unfair Dismissal Case Study - Client situation

Mr B from Warrington worked for a haulage company. He was based in the office, and had over ten years’ service with his employer.

Mr B had needed surgery for a hip problem. This meant that he was away from work for several months but his sickness record before the operation had been reasonable. His employer had contacted Mr B from time to time during his time off, but the contact became less frequent and increasingly unfriendly.

As a result of this, Mr B was understandably worried about going back to work. His hip surgery had been successful and he wanted to keep his job, after all he’d been working there for more than ten years. 

After discussions with the HR department at his work, Mr B agreed to return to work on a particular date. In advance of this date, Mr B’s wife had bought him new work trousers and shoes. This was because she knew that he was nervous about going back to work after being away for so long.

Mr B had received no warnings about his absence. He expected to go back to work in the office and to keep his job going forward because his absence was related to a specific period of surgery.

On his first day back at work, Mr B was taken into an office and told that his absence had been for too long. He was also told by his employer that they were restructuring the work so that he was no longer needed. There was no mention of redundancy, and instead, Mr B was told to go home as his employment was coming to an end.

He was told that he would receive a letter explaining what he was due by way of notice pay and any other payments.

Mr B asked to appeal the decision of his dismissal and despite this request, his employer did not arrange a Hearing and simply wrote to Mr B to confirm that the original decision to dismiss him was still valid. 

How We Helped

Mr B was understandably very upset about how he had been treated by his employer. He got in touch with our Employment Law Solicitors for legal advice about making an Unfair Dismissal claim against his previous employer.

Employment Law Solicitor Stephen Pinder reviewed Mr B’s case. It was clear that his employer had failed to follow any reasonable procedures in dealing with Mr B’s situation. It was also unclear what potentially fair reason his employer was relying on to justify Mr B’s dismissal.

Once Mr B’s employer had taken legal advice, they argued that the case was a fair dismissal on grounds of capability, or some other substantial reason. At one stage, it was also argued that our client might have been made redundant. 

We were able to represent Mr B on a No Win, No Fee basis and progressed the claim to the Employment Tribunal. Mr B’s case was listed for a one day Hearing and Solicitor Stephen Pinder represented Mr B at the Hearing.

The Outcome

At the Hearing, Mr B’s former manager gave evidence. It was clear from the evidence given that the employer simply wanted to get rid of Mr B as he had been away from work for some time.

The Employment Tribunal was critical of Mr B’s former employer and in a written Judgment it was confirmed that our client was unfairly dismissed.

Mr B’s former employer did not satisfy the Employment Tribunal that they had a fair reason for dismissal and, in all of the circumstances, the dismissal fell outside of the band of reasonable responses.

Because Mr B’s former employer was not prepared to engage in negotiations, the Employment Tribunal continued the Hearing to decide what remedies should be offered to Mr B.

An Unfair Dismissal claim can lead to an award of compensation covering the basic award. This is the equivalent of a redundancy payment. There is also the compensatory award which reflects ordinary losses.

The Employment Tribunal awarded compensation to our client of about £16,000 which was tax free. That amount was paid by Mr B’s former employer and his case was successful.

Mr B was delighted with the outcome after being very upset about his treatment and we were happy to have helped Mr B achieve justice and a reasonable amount of compensation to help him and his family.

Use our Unfair Dismissal Compensation calculator to see how much your claim could be worth.

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