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Case Study: Assisting an Employer in Defending an Unfair Dismissal Claim


How Martin Searle Solicitors acted for an employer faced with claims of unfair dismissal and breach of contract in the Employment Tribunal.

The situation

XYZ Services made their most recently recruited driver redundant following a cash flow crisis, without giving any warnings or carrying out any consultation. The driver lodged an Employment Tribunal claim on the basis that their redundancy was a sham. This was because the company had recently bought new expensive premises and had given staff pay rises. She also claimed that she was owed notice pay.

The Managing Director contacted Martin Searle Solicitors in Brighton for advice on defending these proceedings.

What Martin Searle Solicitors did

Our Employment Law Team lodged a defence to these claims stating that there had been a genuine redundancy situation and that legitimate selection criteria had been used.  We also pleaded that even if the dismissal had been procedurally unfair under established case law, (known as “Polkey”), the driver would have been fairly selected for redundancy. This would mean that any award could be reduced by up to 100%. This would depend on how likely the Tribunal thought it was that the Claimant would have been selected for redundancy if all the “proper” procedures, such as, consultation and preparing a fair criteria had been followed.

The Employee’s solicitor drafted a Schedule of Loss seeking an award in excess of £24,000 including loss of earnings over a year. We advised XYZ that the Claimant was under a duty to mitigate her losses by seeking new employment and we obtained evidence of several advertised driver jobs in the locality.

The result

At an early stage in the Employment Tribunal process we were able to agree settlement of the claim for less than £2,000. This saved XYZ both increasing legal costs and reduced the compensation claimed considerably. A confidentiality clause in the agreement ensured that their reputation was protected.

For expert Employment Law advice in defending an unfair dismissal claim, contact us today on 01273 609911, or email

Martin Searle Solicitors, 9 Marlborough Place, Brighton, BN1 1UB
T: 01273 609 991

Martin Searle Solicitors is the trading name of ms solicitors ltd, which is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, and is registered in England under company number 05067303.

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