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Case Study: Helping a Director-level employee make an Employment Tribunal claim for whistleblowing

Employment Law Solicitors

How Laura Donnelly, Associate Employment Law Solicitor based in our Brighton office, helped a senior employee unfairly dismissed for alleged gross misconduct make a claim for Unfair Dismissal and whistleblowing detriment.

The situation

Dominic was employed as Marketing Director for a publishing company. He was a high performer and worked closely with the business owner, Victor.

The owner involved Dominic in various issues that he was uncomfortable with, including using false pretences to unfairly dismiss other employees and misrepresent financial forecasts.

Dominic raised his concerns about these issues and as a result his relationship with Victor deteriorated. Victor began to criticise and undermine him. Victor then raised a number of unsubstantiated allegations in respect of Dominic’s performance and management and then took away a long standing flexible working from home arrangement.

What Martin Searle Solicitors did

Dominic came to us at the point he had been invited to a “without prejudice” meeting where he was offered a Settlement Agreement. The value of the offer was unacceptable, so we proceeded to assist Dominic with negotiating a better offer.

The negotiations broke down and the company dismissed Dominic for alleged gross misconduct, without any fair process or right of appeal.

We wrote to the company to set out his claims for whistleblowing detriment due to the unfair treatment he had experienced after raising whistleblowing concerns and automatic unfair dismissal, on the basis that that the real reason for his dismissal was because of the whistleblowing.

The company responded by accusing Dominic of alleged breaches of confidentiality and threatened to take legal action. We wrote to the company’s Solicitors to defend these allegations and avoid High Court action.

We proceeded to help Dominic with his Tribunal claim.

The result

The case was due to be decided over a lengthy 7 day hearing.

Before the hearing, the company approached us with a settlement offer. We entered into negotiations and successfully increased Dominic’s settlement to over £100,000.

This was a significant increase to their previous offer and was more than he would have obtained in an Employment Tribunal as £100,000 exceeded the statutory cap for ordinary Unfair Dismissal. Dominic was pleased with this settlement, which meant he could avoid the cost of the hearing and the risk of losing the trickier whistleblowing element of the claim.

For expert advice on whistleblowing and unfair dismissal, contact our Employment Law team on 01273 609911, or email info@ms-solicitors.co.uk.

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