Saturday

Employment Tribunals and Interim Relief

I expect that most, but probably not all employees in the UK know that they are legally protected from unfair dismissal, and that they can make a claim to an Employment Tribunal within three months of their dismissal.

However, I'm pretty sure that most people will be completely unaware of the fact that, under certain circumstances, they can make a claim for the Employment Tribunal to order their employers to continue to pay their salary until the Employment Tribunal makes its judgement.

If you claim that you were unfairly dismissed for certain reasons, including whistleblowing, not only is it possible for you to continue to receive your pay (called interim relief), but you will be placed on a fast track for speedy justice.

However, you can only claim interim relief within seven days of your dismissal. That is a huge disadvantage, particularly if, like me, you had never heard of this law. I would imagine that very few people have ever heard of it, and by the time they do learn of it, the seven day period is likely to have passed. Seven days is not long, particularly if you have to consult a lawyer. At the time you are dismissed, you may also be suffering from depression, and not able to act at your normal level of efficiency.

A common criticism of Employment Tribunals is that employees can often make hopeless claims. Employers also make hopeless defenses against genuine claims. In 2009, Stirling University turned up at the Glasgow Employment Tribunal and didn't defend a hopeless case which they had previously told the Tribunal they would defend. Like other unscrupulous employers, they were dragging out the process in the hope that the employee would tire and give up. The effect of this is that Tribunals get clogged up with cases that are never heard, and the days that have been scheduled for cases that are eventually cancelled cannot be used for other cases that are waiting to be heard. Another common practice is for the employer to wait until the day of the hearing, and make the employee an offer to settle out of court.

My guess would be that very few people will ever gain any benefit from interim relief, simply because they won't have known about it, and because it has to be claimed in such a short period of time.

Like me, many employees may have learned that Employment Tribunals frown upon claims made before disciplinary procedures, including any appeal procedures, have been exhausted. By that time, the right to interim relief is likely to have lapsed.

One solution to this would be for there to be a legal requirement for letters of dismissal to inform the employee of their right to claim unfair or wrongful dismissal and interim relief, and to indicate the time limits for those claims.

A further useful law would be for employers like Stirling University, who have been found guilty of unfairly dismissing employees, to be banned for a period of time from dismissing any further employees without ACAS conducting an investigation to ensure that the dismissal is fair. This would have saved me and all of the other employees that Stirling Uni unfairly made redundant recently. It would also result in fewer cases being brought to Tribunals.

Finally, in cases where it is found that an employee was unfairly dismissed, Employment Tribunals should have the power to dismiss any individual employees whose misconduct led to the unfair dismissal. Under those circumstances, I doubt if Mark Toole and others would have acted in the way they did to get rid of me. There is no disincentive for arse lickers like Graham Millar from acting dishonestly to deprive an innocent employee of their livelihood just to benefit his own corrupt career.

1 comment:

sarkari naukri said...

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sarkari naukri