Difficult Employee – Resolving complex employee disputes

It can be difficult for an employer to resolve complex employee challenges where there are performance, conduct and behavioural issues which are unresolved, and the employee is then absent for a long period of time due to illness.

Our client approached us for help in resolving such a case as they could not see an end in sight. Our client knew something needed to be done to bring the employment relationship to an end but the only advice they had received was to “pay them off by giving them 12 month’s salary”.

There were clear risks with this case, including unfair dismissal, as nothing had been done to manage the sickness absence or to properly address the performance and conduct issues (although there was clear evidence), there were also disability discrimination risks to consider.

As we had not worked with this client before we took the time to fully understand the background to the case. We assessed all the facts and advised that they started to manage the employee’s absence as this was the prevalent issue. After supporting the manager in a welfare meeting with the employee we were able to act on their behalf in negotiating a settlement agreement to amicably bring the employment relationship to an end in a way which protected the client from the risk of an Employment Tribunal.

Our expertise in handling complex employee issues gave our client the confidence to move forward on dealing with the issues. We understand it’s not easy to have these types of discussions with employees you have known a long time and have built a strong working relationship with, so it’s good to know we can do this for you. We were able to take away the pain of having an ongoing unresolved issue for our client as well as saving him money by negotiating a settlement figure much less than the 12 month’s pay he was originally advised to make.