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Pre-termination Advice

 

 

 

It is an unavoidable fact of business life that the relationship between employer and employee sometimes breaks down.  If it is because of an objective reason, for example lack of business leading to a redundancy, then the relationship can very easily remain amicable, if properly handled.

 

Where the reason for the termination is more contentious, for example allegations of misconduct or incompetence, then feelings can run high and the situation is even more in need of careful management.  That management should involve both parties receiving good quality legal advice, so that they understand their legal rights and responsibilities.

 

It is a mistake to leave the involvement of legal professionals until late in the day.  They should be approached early on in the procedure, particularly in circumstances where the employer does not have ready access to good quality HR advice.

 

The Regulatory Reform Act 2013 provides that evidence of pre termination discussions is inadmissible in subsequent tribunal proceedings.  This means it is possible for employers and employees to have sensible informal “off the record” discussions which might lead to employment contracts coming to an end by consent.  The terms of any agreement can then be recorded in a formal Settlement Agreement.

 

There are some exceptions to this rule and the protection does not apply:

 

•  to discrimination claims

•  if the reason for termination would have been automatically unfair (e.g. whistle-blowing)

•  if the employer behaves improperly e.g. bullying or acting unfairly.

 

Our specialist employment solicitors are very experienced in dealing with these discussions, both on behalf of employers and employees.  We understand that they are not primarily a legal exercise, but a difficult HR exercise that first and foremost requires strong people management and interpersonal skills.

 

 

For more information please contact:
Bells Solicitors Limited.   Registered in England and Wales no. 07827988.   Authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.   SRA number 569030.   VAT registration number 137595285