Unfair Wrongful Dismissal from Work Claim Awarded £100,000

27 September 2016

Client Situation

Our client was a high performing senior manager at a bank who was dismissed for bullying and abusive language.

How We Helped

We assisted our client in appealing against her dismissal and this was rejected by the bank after an Employment Tribunal hearing. Consequently our Employment Solicitors issued proceedings in the Employment Tribunal claiming unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal.

It transpired during evidence that there was sub-plot to our client’s dismissal. The bank was in the process of being taken over and the HR Director had been tasked with getting rid of 20 members of staff at a minimum cost to the company.

There was evidence that a number of the individuals who gave witness statements during the disciplinary process had colluded in preparing their statements because she was performance managing those individuals. Furthermore, there was evidence that HR had heard our client use bad language in the past and had made no effort to step in and caution her about her conduct when they should have done so. 

Whilst the Employment Tribunal found that the company had a reasonable belief that our client was guilty of some of the offences of which she was accused, it concluded that the sanction of dismissal was outside the range of reasonable responses on the basis that the allegations did not add up to a great deal. The comments were alleged to have been made over a long period of time and our client had an exemplary record and had not been previously been subject to any grievances. 

The company failed to consider whether there was the possibility of any diversity training or a clear the air meeting with our client’s staff and the team. Nor was there any consideration of the effect that a verbal or written warning would have on our client. Our client had never been put on notice that her management of people could be criticised and indeed she had managed that way for a long period of time.

Many of the people interviewed by the company were supportive of our client. The Employment Tribunal considered that given the long service by our client and the fact that these allegations had come out of the blue the decision to dismiss was outside the band of reasonable responses. More than 100 allegations were made by the bank’s witnesses and their evidence suggested that some of them were out to get her no matter what was said in her defence.

The Employment Tribunal therefore found that it was inappropriate to dismiss and concluded that no reasonable disciplining officer would have done so.

Our client admitted that she had said certain things that were inappropriate and consequently the Employment Tribunal awarded a reduction in compensation of 20% for contributory fault. 

The Outcome

Before the case went to an Employment Tribunal Remedy Hearing, our Employment Solicitors were successful in negotiating an ACAS settlement agreement for our client in the amount of £100,000.

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