• Send us a message

    Fill in our form and we'll get back to you as soon as possible

    Please enter name
    Please enter your telephone number
    Please enter your email address
    Please let us know which of offices would most convenient for you?
    Please enter the details of your enquiry
    Please enter the verification code
    Send us a message
  • Services for you
  • Services for business

Facing a Business Crisis? Don't Forget Your Employees' Rights!

It is only too easy for businesses dealing with office politics, poor trading or cashflow difficulties to take their eye off the ball when it comes to their employees' rights. As an Employment Tribunal (ET) decision strikingly showed, however, it is precisely at such moments of crisis that professional advice is most needed (Charalambous v Venturespring Ltd).

The case concerned the former commercial director of a business consultancy firm. Tensions developed between her and the firm's controlling shareholder after hopes of exponential growth failed to materialise. Amidst serious liquidity difficulties, the office atmosphere became corrosive.

After her salary was underpaid month after month, the woman lodged a grievance which was substantially ignored and never resolved. Commissions due to her were miscalculated downwards and, after she complained, she began to be excluded from strategic commercial decision making. She ultimately resigned and launched ET proceedings.

In ruling on the matter, the ET found the firm guilty of multiple breaches of the legal obligations it owed to its employee. It had set out to undermine the working relationship in response to the woman's justified complaints that payments lawfully due to her were being withheld. She had thus been constructively dismissed in circumstances which were automatically unfair.

Noting that the firm had compounded its wrongdoing by failing to respond to or play any part in the proceedings, the ET described its conduct as lamentable. The woman was awarded compensation of over £36,000 in respect of her unfair dismissal and other sums representing arrears of wages, commission, holiday pay and expenses. Her total award came to £96,931.

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.