A recent case of unfair dismissal was upheld and caught our eye because of comments concerning the lack of knowledge of employment law and good practice of the company directors involved. 
 
Leicester Employment Tribunal heard that Lancaster & Duke is an employment agency but a relatively small business with two directors. Vicky Wileman was a recruitment manager at the firm but had been dismissed in September 2016 for ‘gross misconduct’. Her behaviour was described as that of a ‘playground bully’. 
 
Nevertheless, she had her claim for unfair dismissal upheld and was awarded £7,684.34 in damages. 
Employment judge Clark oversaw the case and said the directors did not have any “meaningful past experience of managing employees and particularly so in respect of managing performance or disciplinary matters.” 
 
He criticised them further for failing to raise their concerns formally with the recruiter before dismissing her. “I recognise how a small employer with inexperienced directors might prefer to overlook matters and fail to address problems at the time, and I take that into account as far as it goes,” Clark said. 
 
“However, there comes a point where even the smallest of employers must deal with issues, and the size of an employer does not absolve it from the obligation to act reasonably in doing so.” 
If you are a small business and are involved in a disciplinary or performance issue, then rest assured that help and advice is available. Feel free to call us now on 03300 884 352 for an informal, confidential chat. 
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