A recent employment tribunal case has shown the importance for employers and employees in disputes to take legal advice at the earliest possible stage, a senior lawyer at Walkers has said.
A constructive dismissal claim was recently dismissed by Jersey's Employment Tribunal because the claimant offered to work an extended notice period so that her employer could find a replacement.
The tribunal heard that the claimant in the case, a Manager employed by a local charity who had been in her role for two and a half years, had offered to extend her contractual notice period of one month to three months to give the charity time to find a replacement and give herself time to find another job.
Pictured: Walkers Senior Counsel Daniel Read.
The tribunal found that the offer to keep working for longer than necessary conflicted with the claim of constructive dismissal – which requires an employer to have unreasonably done something which destroyed or seriously damaged the trust and confidence between them and the employee.
"What this case shows is how important it is to get proper legal advice at the earliest possible stage of an employment dispute," Walkers Senior Counsel, Daniel Read, explained. "The tribunal found in this case that the claimant's offer to extend her notice period clashed with her claim of unfair dismissal."
He continued: "Seemingly simple steps taken by either an employer or an employee at the very early stages of a dispute can often have a significant impact on how a claim proceeds, and this is something that we see quite regularly in disputes over constructive and unfair dismissal in particular. We would urge anyone involved in a dispute to take advice from a legal specialist as soon as possible."
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