Not coming from a background in HR, I found today's Employment Tribunal reconstruction by our employment law team provided a fascinating insight into resolving disputes between an employer and employee. The scenario concerned the dismissal of an administrative assistant from an electrical contractors with c.50 staff. The reason for dismissal was persistent short-term absence over an 18 month period.
In an Employment Tribunal role play, the judge, legal representatives and witnesses were played by members of TWM's employment law team. The case for the claimant and the respondent were set out and it was clear that a decision either way was not clear cut. On the one hand, the impact of the absence on the smooth running of a small business had to be balanced out against whether the employer had taken sufficient steps to investigate reasons for the absence, and could have made alternative arrangements during periods of absence.
Following the witness statements and examinations, the HR professionals in the audience were able to offer their considered views and it was clear that thoughts had been provoked. The Employment Tribunal reconstruction format was popular with all, when compared to employment law seminars that many had sat through in the past.
As to the outcome, if you are interested? Well the respondent won the day (this time)!
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Nick Shrimpton, TWM Solicitors