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Disciplinary Action

Legal services for employers

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Why Taylor Law?

When workplace problems lead to formal action it can cause substantial disruption to a business.
At Taylor Law, we work with employers to deal quickly and efficiently with disputes to prevent the damage that can be caused by long-term problems.
Often, early intervention can prevent a situation from escalating. Our employment law team are skilled negotiators and, where necessary, will provide robust representation in legal proceedings.

Disciplinary action and suspension

Suspension, where an employee is notified that they may not attend work, is often used in tangent with disciplinary action, usually for alleged gross misconduct.
Full salary is usually paid for the duration of a suspension, until a conclusion is reached.
An investigation into employee behaviour must be carried out as quickly as possible during the suspension period. The suspension should also be kept under review and not used as a disciplinary sanction.
As an employer, you should have your disciplinary process set out either in the employee handbook or in your contracts of employment. This should follow the Acas Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures.

The Acas code of practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures

If you do not properly follow some aspects of the Acas code of practice, any compensation awarded to an employee could be increased by up to 25 per cent. It is therefore important that as an employer you are aware of the provisions of the code and that you follow them as closely as possible.

  • Some of the key principles are as follows:
  • Resolve the issue informally where possible;
  • Employer rules should be specific, clear and accessible and be in writing;
  • Issues should be dealt with promptly and meetings, decisions and confirmation of decisions should not be unreasonably delayed;
  • Employers should conduct a thorough and fair investigation to ascertain the facts;
  • Employees should be told of the problem and have the opportunity to put their case before formal action is taken against them;
  • Employees have the right to be accompanied by a colleague or union representative at any formal grievance or disciplinary hearing;
  • Employees have the right to appeal.

At Taylor Law, we will advise you on the correct procedure to follow and ensure that employee rights are observed so that no complaint can be made in this regard.

Unfair dismissal

When an employee is dismissed, it must be for a fair reason. This is usually related to their capacity for doing the job, their conduct or because their role becomes redundant.
Where an employee feels that they have had to resign, they may have a case for claiming constructive dismissal. This could be because of harassment or bullying in the workplace or unreasonable changes to working conditions.
Both unfair dismissal and constructive dismissal claims will be heard by an employment tribunal if a settlement cannot be reached beforehand. It is important as an employer that you follow the correct process in dealing with a case, to ensure that an employee’s rights are not infringed so that a subsequent complaint cannot be made.

Employment tribunal claims

Where a dispute cannot be settled, an employee can take their case to an employment tribunal. This can be a difficult and onerous process for you as an employer and it is advisable to seek legal advice to ensure that the correct procedure is properly followed.
At Taylor Law we have extensive experience of representing employers in legal actions against them and we have an excellent track record of success.

Legal representation, guidance and advice

When you are dealing with an employee claim in respect of unfair dismissal or following disciplinary action, our team will give you clear, practical advice designed to settle the matter quickly and minimise time away from your business.
We will help you deal with the Acas early conciliation process or advise you during alternative dispute resolution, if appropriate, working proactively to move the case along as quickly as possible.
We can also ensure that your grievance and disciplinary procedures in your employee handbook or employment contracts are fair and effective. By putting a strong legal framework in place, you stand the best chance of avoiding litigation and, should a dispute arise, dealing with it efficiently.

Visit our frequently asked questions for more information.

 

Our Employment Fees and Costs

Our employment solicitors are:

Scott Taylor (Solicitor with at least 8 years’ experience)

Ben Tighe (Solicitor with at least 8 years’ experience)

Max Hornigold (Solicitor)

Angela Giannotti (Solicitor - London)

Chris Bennett (Junior Executive - London)

 Our hourly charges are as follows:

 Private (Leeds and Middlesbrough) :

Partners/Solicitors with at least 8 years’ experience - 265.00

Solicitors with at least 4 years’ experience - 230.00

Solicitors, Legal Executives, Senior Executives - 200.00

Trainee Solicitors - 140.00

Junior Executives/Assistants - 140.00

Private (London) :

Partners/Solicitors with at least 8 years’ experience - 450.00

Solicitors with at least 4 years’ experience  - 325.00

Solicitors, Legal Executives, Senior Executives  - 250.00

Trainee Solicitors - 150.00

Junior Executives/Assistants - 150.00

Lesser complexity case

This would tend to be a case where unfair dismissal is the sole claim and the matter is limited to a one-day hearing.
It would be in the region of £15000-£18,000 plus VAT and disbursements (if we instruct counsel).

Medium complexity case

This would be a case where there are additional claims to unfair dismissal, such as discrimination. This would also apply where the case for unfair dismissal requires a Preliminary Hearing or where the case is listed for a Final Hearing of two or three days’ duration.

This would be in the region of £20,500- £23000 plus VAT, plus counsel fees of approximately  £1,500 for the first day of the Final Hearing and £1,000 for the refreshers for the second and subsequent days of the Final Hearing.  .

Higher complexity case

This would be a case where the unfair dismissal claim involves multiple discrimination complaints or complex matters such as whistleblowing/making of protected disclosures and where the case is listed for a Final Hearing of two or more days’ duration.

From £20,000 to £25000 plus VAT, plus counsel fees of £1,500 for the first day of the Final Hearing and £1,000 for the second and subsequent days of the Final Hearing.

The following factors can have an impact on the complexity of a case:

  • Defending claims that are brought by litigants in person
  • Complex preliminary issues such as whether the claimant is disabled (if this is not agreed by the parties)
  • The number of witnesses and documents
  • If it is an automatic unfair dismissal claim.  For example if the reason for dismissal is because of a protected disclosure or an employee’s pregnancy or maternity leave

 

The fees set out above cover all of the work in relation to the following key stages of a claim:

  • Taking initial instructions, reviewing the papers and advising on merits and likely compensation
  • Entering into pre-claim conciliation
  • Preparing a claim or response
  • Reviewing and advising on a claim or response from other party
  • Exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process
  • Preparing a schedule of loss
  • Preparing for and attending a Preliminary Hearing
  • Exchanging documents with the other party and agreeing a bundle of documents
  • Taking witness statements, drafting statements, and agreeing their content with witnesses
  • Preparing bundle of documents
  • Reviewing and advising on the other party’s witness statements
  • Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list
  • Preparation for the Final Hearing or instructions to Counsel

 

The stages are not fixed and guaranteed, and we will adjust our costs accordingly when some stages are not required.

How long will my matter take?

The time that it takes from taking your initial instructions to the final resolution of your matter depends largely on the stage at which your case is resolved. If a settlement is reached during pre-claim conciliation, your case is likely to take 2-4 weeks. If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take 9-18 months. This is just an estimate and we will of course be able to give you a more accurate timescale once we have more information and as the matter progresses.

Disbursements

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf. Disbursements incur a VAT charge of 20%.

 

At Taylor Law we have an excellent reputation for successful outcomes for our clients in employment matters. If you would like to discuss how we can help you with your employment issue, we would be happy to hear from you.

Time is often crucial in dealing with an employment problem, and it is therefore advisable to seek legal advice as soon as you can.
For an initial discussion, ring us on 0113 532 8100 (Leeds), 01642 221 108 (Middlesbrough) or 0203 780 7646 (London) or fill in our Contact Form.

“Thank you for all your help and advice, it really made a difference. Feedback, help and guidance. Thank you to all the team – first class”.

 

Craig D

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