Employers must follow a specific process when considering whether to take disciplinary action against an employee. Generally, employees only obtain rights in such circumstances when they have worked for an employer for 2 years and a claim is brought within 3 months less one day of a dismissal. Before an employee can present a claim to the Employment Tribunal, they must first complete a process known as Early Conciliation through ACAS.
The most common reasons for disciplinary action are in relation to misconduct, capability, and redundancy.
In a misconduct scenario, as soon as an allegation is made or discovered, a reasonable investigation process should ensue. This will usually take place prior to a disciplinary hearing, however, the investigation must be sufficiently lengthy and detailed to ascertain the correct facts.
Secondly, the investigation must provide a reasonable belief to the employer that the wrongdoing an employee has been accused of has actually occurred, and finally, their response to that wrongdoing has to be reasonable. If an employee has been accused of committing an act of misconduct, the response to that must be deemed to be reasonable and realistic.
If any of the above criteria are not adequately followed, an employee may have a claim for unfair dismissal. If you are unsure of whether your case would qualify as a claim of unfair dismissal, the case studies below may be helpful and Ringrose Law could assist you in raising a claim to the Employment Tribunal.
Case Study 1 – Claimant A
A had worked for a company for 20 years before being dismissed for gross misconduct. Essentially, A had discussed training requirements with the company Managing Director and was subsequently suspended later that day for ‘insubordination’ i.e. refusal to obey orders.
A attended a disciplinary hearing some days later where various allegations were made against him and he was dismissed with immediate effect.
Ringrose Law assisted with A’s internal appeal and submitted a pre-claim conciliation to ACAS before successfully negotiating a settlement of £18,000.00 and a good factual reference.
Case Study 2 – Claimant B
B had received repeated praise from her employer relating to her work and had no issues prior to a disagreement with a fellow colleague. On one particular occasion the colleague threatened B but then made a complaint about her to the Line Manager.
B was eventually dismissed for gross misconduct after a harrowing disciplinary process during which her employer failed to provide any evidence of wrongdoing.
Ringrose Law assisted B with her claim and eventually a satisfactory amount of compensation and reference were negotiated.
Case Study 3 – Claimant C
C had been made redundant together with a large number of colleagues therefore suggesting a genuine reason for the redundancy. However, the criteria that the employer had considered appeared unfair in certain aspects and based on C’s scores, he should not have been made redundant.
C appealed his redundancy however, many of his points were dismissed and he requested Ringrose Law assist him in bringing a claim.
Ringrose Law negotiated a settlement of nearly one year’s wages although Tribunal proceedings had been started with witness statements prepared.
If you require any assistance with an employment law dispute, please telephone our employment law team on 01522 561020 and we will arrange an appointment for you to attend a free clinic at one of the following offices:
Boston office Wednesday 31 October 2018.
Newark office Wednesday 07 November 2018.