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Posted by on in Dismissal
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What constitutes unfair dismissal?: Case Studies

Unsure about whether your dismissal from your employment was unfair? Here we outline some common examples of dismissal and the possible outcomes from making an unfair dismissal claim in these situations.

Case One: Dave’s Dismissal for Poor Conduct

Dave had been working as a Accounts Manager at a marketing company for three years. One day, he was called into a meeting with his manager without prior notice. He is told that a customer had made a complaint about him and thus he was being dismissed for gross misconduct without notice. Dave is made to leave the premises and is later sent his P45. He then lodges a complaint with an Employment Tribunal for unfair dismissal.

There a number of potential outcomes for Dave. Firstly, his legal representative may successfully prove that the dismissal was unfair: proper procedures were not followed, there was no investigation of the complaint and the employer did not act reasonably I determining his misconduct. Dave will be awarded compensation for loss of earnings, compensation for having to work in new employment for two years in order to regain the right not to be unfairly dismissed and what is known as a basic award.

However, had Dave’s employer been able to prove the complaint had been made, and that Dave would have been dismissed fairly within a matter of weeks if they had followed correct procedure, Dave may have been awarded a reduced amount of compensation. Also, it is possible that Dave and the company could negotiate to settle for a sum of compensation outside of the employment tribunal.

Case 2: Mandy and the Abusive Employer

Mandy has been working as an in-house IT consultant for a recruitment company for 2 years. Mandy is quite unhappy with the way she is treated at work. Her manager regularly shouts at her profusely for minor mistakes in front of her other colleagues. Mandy continues to work for her employer without raising a grievance and accepts a new project. However, one month later Mandy resigns with immediate effect – she cites the abuse she was subjected to as the reason. Mandy then makes an employment tribunal claim for constructive and unfair dismissal.

There are many possible outcomes for Mandy. Firstly, here legal representatives may be able to prove that the abuse constituted a breach of her employment contract and that Mandy was merely communicating that breach by resigning. Although it may seem like Mandy had waived her right to resign by delaying the resignation for a month and accepting another project, the Tribunal may decide that she had no other chose and had not waived her right and thus this amounts to constructive dismissal.

Furthermore, the Tribunal may also deem the abuse (the reason for her resignation) was for a minor error and was thus unfair. Mandy would succeed in her claim and would be awarded compensation for loss of earnings and a sum to reflect that she will have to work in other employment for two continuous years in order to make a different unfair dismissal claim.

Alternatively, the company may offer a settlement agreement to Mandy, she will be paid a settlement amount and given a positive reference in return for her agreement not to bring a claim. This means both parties are satisfied with the resolution of the situation.


Employment Lawyers Edinburgh

Whether you are an employee or an employer in need of advice in relation to unfair dismissal or any other employment law issue in Edinburgh, Scotland, Employment Law Edinburgh's team of specialist Employment solicitors can help. To get in touch, you can either call us on 0131 516 7728 or complete our enquiry form.





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