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  • Overview

    The conduct of an employee in certain circumstances can result in the irretrievable breakdown of the working relationship entitling an employer to terminate the contract of employment.

    This situation occurred for one of our education clients Holmewood House School, who sought our advice part way through a dispute with one of its senior employees. At the time we were consulted, the matter was in stalemate and the school was experiencing difficulties in moving things forward. There had been a number of grievances and counter-grievances.

    To shift the parties from their impasse, Susanna Gilmartin who advised Holmewood House recommended using an independent HR consultant to try to resolve the dispute. Our reasoning being that, if successful, this would move things forward positively, but if the employee refused to participate in the school’s grievance processes using an independent third party, it would afford the school other options. The employee did object to the independent HR consultant, leaving the school with no alternative but to terminate employment on the basis of an irretrievable breakdown of the working relationship.

    Unfair dismissal proceedings were brought against the school. Whilst there had been some procedural failings on the part of the school prior to our involvement, the employee’s conduct had significantly contributed to the situation. Given the unrealistic level of compensation being sought by the employee, the school defended the claim. Although the school was found to have unfairly dismissed the claimant for procedural failings, the final award was minimal as a result of a finding of a high degree of contributory fault on the part of the employee by the tribunal. He was criticised heavily for his conduct which was found to have contributed significantly to his dismissal in the judgement.

    Employment Tribunals consider all the circumstances leading to a  dismissal, including an employee’s conduct. The Tribunal can find that an employee’s conduct contributed 100% to the decision to terminate.

  • Related Services

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    We have considerable experience of producing carefully drafted disciplinary and grievance policies, putting in place a clear process for dealing with issues. When problems arise, we frequently provide our clients with support throughout the disciplinary and grievance process, in order to ensure that their interests are protected.

    Employment

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    Dismissal & severance

    We have extensive experience of acting for both employers and senior employees in situations where dismissal is being contemplated. As well as advising you on the law, we are also well aware of the importance of employing the right tactics to ensure the best possible outcome.

    Managing claims & employment disputes

    Our employment lawyers at Thomson Snell & Passmore have significant experience and an excellent success rate in dealing with employment tribunal claims. We act for both employer and employee clients and provide commercially driven, strategic and practical advice.

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