Unfair Dismissal Claim Upheld by Employment Tribunal

Author:
Stephen Pinder
Partner, Employment Law Solicitor
Date:
02/10/2019

An Unfair Dismissal Case Study - Client Situation

Mr J from Chester, was employed by a large business which operated a procedure where employees would receive warnings for being absent or late for work.

Mr J had received a final written warning. Unfortunately Mr J needed to be off work again after the final written warning. This meant that he triggered his employers’ attendance standard, leading to a Capability Meeting.

The purpose of the Capability Meeting was for our client to explain why he should not be dismissed, bearing in mind that he knew of his employer’s procedure to deal with absence related issues, and this was agreed with a recognised Trade Union.

Mr J had been absent from work because his partner was unwell following the birth of their child. He had to stay at home to look after the child and his partner. When he explained this to his employer, they were not impressed and Mr J was dismissed in line with their procedures.

Mr J had contacted another firm of Solicitors who told him that he did not have a claim because there was no chance of making a successful Unfair Dismissal claim. 

Then Mr J contacted our Employment Law Solicitors.

How We Helped

As an ordinary capability case, the claim was difficult to pursue because Mr J’s former employer’s policies and procedures on warnings for time off were clear.

But our Employment Solicitors felt that an Unfair Dismissal claim could be brought against Mr J’s former employer because they had failed to properly address the issue that Mr J’s absence was in fact to deal with a domestic emergency, which is subject to separate legislation from the issue of capability.

Mr J was happy that our Employment Solicitors would take the case forward for him and a claim for Unfair Dismissal was lodged at the Employment Tribunal.

The Outcome

Mr J’s case was being pursued before the Employment Tribunal and his former employer was resisting the case, even though it was clear that they had never treated this as a matter involving a domestic emergency when dealing with it as part of their internal employment procedures.

This was an omission on their part as the legislation gives additional obligations to the employer and although the case was not straightforward, it did enjoy better prospects of success as a result of this omission.

Mr J had managed to get another job soon after his dismissal, and the case was settled by negotiation shortly before the Final Hearing for £5,000 compensation, which was at least the full value of the claim. 

Mr J was pleased with the outcome and pleased with the support we provided in dealing with a difficult case which had caused financial hardship and upset, particularly because his dismissal happened so close to the birth of his child.

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

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