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Quite often I am asked ‘is that really necessary’, and I always say if you were in that situation how would you like to be treated.  As long as you are a fair process and consistent approach the Employment Tribunals will take this into account.

I am sure many you have heard of instances when an employee may have done something wrong and the employer has said ‘don’t bother coming back on Monday’.  Well, this is exactly what happened in 2015 with a case involving an SME.  It was a family run business when an argument happened with on of their employees and the employee took this as dismissal.

The tribunal upheld the employee’s claim for unfair dismissal because of the following:

  • No one attempted to make contact with the employee after this incident and the company just sent him his P45
  • There was a total failure to adopt any form of fair procedure

Based on the length of service and age and using the www.gov.uk for calculations if an employee has more than 2 years service and depending on the age they could claim up to £479 per years service as a basic award – the tribunal does have the power to increase or decrease this award.

How much could it cost an employer?

As an employer, this is not the only cost that if the unfair dismissal case is upheld under the Employment Tribunals Regulations 2013, the maximum costs award without a detailed assessment is £20,000.  However, there is no limit on the amount of costs awarded if the amount is determined by way of a detailed assessment of the costs incurred.  In addition, the tribunal can order a party to pay an amount in respect of tribunal fees paid by the other parties and expenses incurred by witnesses in attending the tribunal.

It is important as an employer that you treat all employees equally with a fair and consistent process and I know running a small business you have lots of plates spinning and the thought of solicitors and legal advice just makes you see pound signs.

I come from a very operational background and understand that processes should not hinder the operation.  That is why I offer my clients different ways to get help from pay as you go to monthly service plans which give you peace of mind that there won’t be a huge bill and you are being fair to your employees and to you as a business.  Please give me a call if you would like to discuss any aspect of this blog.

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