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The Penalty for Unfair Dismissal

THSP Employment Law Consultant - Andrew Wilson

By Andrew Wilson

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This week there was a penalty for an unfair dismissal. The Tribunal appeal was made against the judge who originally ordered a 25% uplift on their award against an employer for unfairly dismissing one of its employees.

In Rentplus UK v Coulson, the way in which the employer (Rentplus UK) handled the dismissal of Ms Coulson on performance grounds was described as a ‘sham’. That is to say that no recognised process was followed for dealing with the performance issues. The minimum recognised standard is set out in the ACAS Code of Practice, although some employers disciplinary and performance policies can go over and above. But still, the minimum standards must be demonstrated in most circumstances where the employee has over 2 years’ service at the dismissal date.

The appeal was dismissed.

Take the average penalty award for unfair dismissal to be around £11,000 plus costs, then employers are strongly advised to consider the process to be followed and the reasons for dismissal. Failure to do so could add another £2,750 onto this average award.

The ruling this week therefore serves as an important reminder to employers. Both could be avoided, or at worst significantly reduced, if a conscientious and well-structured process is followed.

If you have any queries on this or other matter, then speak to one of our HR and Employment Law team on 03456 122 144.