They are extremely responsive, professional and great to work with.
Mrs C Robinson v Fairhill Medical Practice | 2013
Mrs R had been employed by Fairhill Medical Practice (the Practice) in an administrative role for over 40 years. Towards the end of 2010 the Practice investigated allegations of serious misconduct by Mrs R and a disciplinary process followed.
Mrs R became depressed and was signed off work. Mrs R instructed a solicitor who acted on her behalf during the disciplinary process.
On 6 July the Practice held a disciplinary hearing. Mrs R did not attend and in her absence the Practice dismissed her. The Practice’s solicitor emailed Mrs R’s solicitor and told her of the decision to dismiss.
Mrs R’s solicitor told Mrs R of the dismissal by telephone on 7 July. On the same day the Practice’s solicitor wrote to Mrs R confirming the dismissal. Mrs R received the letter on 8 July.
An issue arose about the effective date of termination as Mrs R’s claims for unfair dismissal and discrimination were not presented to the employment tribunal until 7 October and were potentially out of time.
There were a number of options; was the effective date of termination:
- 6 July when Mrs R’s solicitor was told about Mrs R’s dismissal?
- 7 July when Mrs R was told by her solicitor that she had been dismissed? or
- 8 July when Mrs R received the letter telling her she had been dismissed?
In this case the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) upheld the decision of the employment tribunal that the effective date of termination was 7 July when Mrs R’s own solicitor told her of the dismissal. As the law only requires that an employee knows or has the opportunity to learn about their dismissal, it did not matter that the decision was relayed through a third party. Mrs R’s claim for unfair dismissal was therefore out of time.
This case highlights the uncertainty that can arise when an employee is not told about a decision to dismiss face to face. This is always best as there can be no confusion about when they knew about the decision but it is not always possible. If it cannot be done face to face telephone would be the next best option. Again, providing you speak with the employee, there can be no confusion about when they were told of the decision. There will always be the potential for confusion about when an email, letter or phone message is received.
Book a phone consultation
Apply for a FREE phone consultation with one of our experienced employment law solicitors to discuss your case, how we can help and how much it is likely to cost.
Selected evening and weekend appointments available.
Tell us about your case
Our online form is the easy way to tell us about your case and employment details.
Short of time? Our ‘save and resume’ features let you save your answers and complete the form later.
Reasons to Choose
Attention to attention
Speed of response
Latest Employer Knowledge Bank Articles
Use our knowledge bank of employer focused briefing notes, checklists and case reports to obtain trusted and accurate information about key employment law and HR topics to help you learn more about your employment law rights.View more
Becoming our client is a straightforward process. However, before choosing Quantrills as your employment law solicitors you’ll want to be completely sure we are the right people to help you achieve your objectives. Having looked at our web site, if you like our approach and would like to discuss how we can help you, getting started is easy.
At Quantrills we are flexible in how we work with you and how we progress your case...
01473 688 100Or request a call back