Helen Neville, Trainee Solicitor at Fairweathers, today successfully represented a care worker at Ashford Employment Tribunal in establishing that he was unfairly dismissed.Helen Neville conducted a full day’s hearing in the case which was fully contested by the employer.
The client, who was referred to us by Ashford CAB, had been employed as a care worker for 18 months when he was dismissed on 8 September 2008.
Our client was assaulted three times whilst working at the care home and was signed off sick by his GP.
Whilst on sick leave he wrote to his employer, notifying them of his absence, requesting support and guidance from them and raising various health and safety issues.
The employer, replied by way of terminating his employment by letter on 8 September 2008.
They had offered no support or guidance and had failed to follow a grievance procedure and statutory dismissal procedure.
At Tribunal the employer, attempted to argue that the client had ‘resigned’ by way of writing his concerns in his grievance letter and stating he did not know how he could return to work with the particular assaulter.
The Tribunal found that the wording of the client’s letter was that of seeking help and support and no reasonable employer would have construed it as a letter of resignation. The Tribunal found that the employer’s letter and wording was that of a dismissal.
Helen successfully argued that the dismissal was on the grounds of health and safety and as such, was automatically unfair.
The Tribunal upheld the client’s case and in doing so, they ordered that the employer pay him £13,760.56 compensation.
The compensation included a basic and compensatory award for past and future loss of earnings and a 50% increase for the employer’s failure to follow the statutory dismissal procedure.
Further, Helen secured a costs order for £500 on the basis that the case had been unreasonably defended by the employer.
Her client commented:-
“I am so very pleased with the outcome of the Tribunal. Once again thank you so very much for all your hard work”.
Helen Neville commented:-
“I was so excited to have won my first employment Tribunal case. I am extremely pleased for my client. It is extremely stressful and upsetting to be unfairly dismissed, especially when seeking the support of your employer. I am happy to have been able to help and support my client through this case and bring it to a successful conclusion.
I am also very proud to have obtained a Costs Order against the employer. The usual position is that each party is responsible for their own costs, but thankfully the Tribunal agreed that the Respondent’s behaviour was unreasonable and they had failed to retract their arguments or settle the case pre-hearing.”