Constructive Dismissal

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Top Tips for Handling Dismissal-Dodgers

Picture the scene: an employee is invited to a disciplinary meeting but the very next day you receive a note from his GP signing him off for a month with stress. Sounds familiar? Another common predicament is that of the elusive companion or the trade union...

Suspension of Employees during Disciplinary Proceedings - Approach with Caution!

We have seen an increasing trend for employers suspending employees during disciplinary proceedings almost as a matter of course. However, this is a risky approach which can trigger a number of claims, and so it is an area to be approached with caution....

Top tips on steps to take when greeted by an employment tribunal claim

Tribunal Services’ statistics for 2010/2011 show that employment tribunal claims were up 77% on the figures for 2008/2009. Its clear from these figures that employees are far more willing to bring claims, which in turn, means that you are now far more...

Progressive medical conditions

The Equality Act 2010 (the “Act”) prohibits discrimination in employment in respect of a number of ‘protected characteristics’ including disability. Before an employee can complain that they have suffered discrimination because of...

Withholding information in dismissal procedures

Dear Auntie I have read a case recently in which the Court decided that only the information known by the person dismissing the employee is relevant to whether the reason for dismissal was fair or not. Does that mean that we can withhold relevant...

When can an 'Off the Record' chat prejudice your position?

 Employers often want an “off the record” chat with employees to see if they can persuade an employee to leave quickly and amicably under a compromise agreement. Such chats are seen as being more friendly than going through a formal process...

Auntie advises on disciplinary procedures, overlapping grievances and problems with contractual policies

Dear Auntie I am an HR Manager for a medium size company and I have just come back from holiday to a stack of disciplinary matters. Can you help me with a couple of matters which are causing me a real headache:- 1. A male employee has complained...

Employment Tribunals: Are they struggling to cope?

Those of us that regularly use the Employment Tribunal system will be well aware of the more frustrating aspects of its service. From spending hours sitting in airless waiting rooms to having hearings postponed on the day even though your witnesses have...

Witness Statements: key considerations and how to get started

Key considerations The difference between good and bad witness statements can be the difference between winning and losing a case. The preparation for witness statements should start right at the outset of a case as availability and choice of witnesses...

Auntie advises on constructive dismissal

Dear Auntie,  I have become aware that one of our board members has been seriously undermining a senior manager, Tom, for some time by belittling him in front of colleagues at management meetings, telling more junior staff that Tom has no long-term...

Top Tips for Team Moves - The Poacher's Perspective

The recent case of Tullett Prebon plc v BGC Brokers LP has highlighted once again the dangers of getting a team move wrong. Both BGC and the team looking to move to BGC came under heavy criticism from the court which held that they had shown a blatant...

Top Tips for Dealing with Employment Tribunal Disclosure

These top tips follow on from the guidance in this month’s Aunty Advice which details the nature of an employer’s obligation to disclose relevant documents as part of the employment tribunal litigation process. Top tips for dealing with...

Auntie Advises on Employment Tribunal Disclosure Obligations

Dear Auntie, We have just returned from a Case Management Discussion and the Employment Tribunal has ordered that disclosure be carried out over the next month.  We have a number of internal documents about the litigation which we would rather not...

Disciplinary hearings - a trial for all involved?

Can your lawyer attend your disciplinary hearing? The Court of Appeal recently handed down its decision regarding whether a teacher accused of gross misconduct should have been entitled to legal representation at the disciplinary hearing under Article 6 of...

Top tips on preparing to defend an employment tribunal claim

According to Tribunal Services' statistics for 2008/2009, claims for unfair dismissal, breach of contract, redundancy pay and failure to inform and consult in redundancy were all up on the previous years’ figures.  In total, 151,000 claims...

Discrimination by association: handle with care

Martha Arnold considers the implications of the ECJ’s ruling in Coleman v Attridge Law, in which an employee alleged that she suffered discrimination from her employer because of her disabled son. Ms Coleman, was employed as a legal secretary at...

Failure to address bullying - employers can be hit where it hurts... in the wallet!!

Employers will need to be on their guard against signs of bullying in the workplace after the recent cases of Helen Green v Deutsche Bank and William Majrowski v Guys and St Thomas’s NHS Trust .  Both these employees brought different...

A Tale of Two Breaches: breach of a statutory right or obligation - does this amount to a breach of contract?

I am the HR manager of a medium sized company based in London .  One of our employees has claimed disability discrimination, stating that since the diagnosis of his rare medical condition we have not made sufficient reasonable adjustments to take...

Auntie helps you with your homework...

Dear HR Law Auntie One of our female employees, Mary, wants to work from home 3 days a week for childcare reasons. I know that under the new statutory right to request flexible working I have a right to refuse the request for certain business grounds. Due...

Final Say on the Final Straw? London Borough of Waltham Forest v Folu Omilaju 2004

Folu Omilaju (“Mr Omilaju”) resigned from his employment with the London Borough of Waltham Forest (“the Council”) and claimed constructive dismissal. The Council had refused to pay him for the time he was absent without leave...

Constructive Dismissal: What is it?

Dear Hrlaw Auntie I am the HR Manager of a large company and a few days ago one of our fairly senior employees, Paul, came to see me to tell me that he was leaving … immediately. I told Paul that he had to serve three months’ notice under his...