You don't need to be big to benefit

Added On: 1st April 2010

You don't need to be big to benefit

JCS were contacted by a company based in Leeds who were about to make one of their five staff redundant. The employee concerned was raising a number of questions and issues about the situation, and the company were looking for advice as to whether the process they had followed was sound and legally compliant.

Following a review of the process and documentation it was clear that the actions taken by the company didn’t fully meet their statutory obligations, particularly since the decision to dismiss had been taken prior to the change in the statutory dismissal legislation in April 2009. We gave an honest assessment of their position and the risks they faced, and went on to advise on how to minimise the potential damage.

Our recommended course of action was adopted and as a result, when the inevitable ET1 form arrived - signally that an unfair dismissal claim had been submitted - the company were confident in refusing the ex-employee’s outrageous settlement demands and were happy to take their case to the Tribunal. They were aware that there was a technical breach that they would have to acknowledge, but by involving JCS the compensation for this breach was kept at a minimum because of the actions they had taken following our advice.

Had we been involved earlier in the process we could have advised on how to make the process robust and legally sound from the very beginning, thus minimising the chances of any compensation at all having to be paid – although if an ex-employees is determined to submit a claim even on the basis of a weak, or non-existent case, there are always likely to be legal costs.

This case illustrates how we are able to help small businesses to avoid large costs and payments through ensuring that they follow correct procedures.