17 April 2014
Clever thinking brings case to a swift conclusion
The employment team at B P Collins LLP is often instructed to work for new clients with existing issues who have become unhappy with their current legal advisors. This was the case when Kathryn Fielder and the team were instructed by a professional development body to advise on a grievance which had been on-going for over 18 months.
An issue had arisen after the company's senior manager had been signed off work due to the stresses of caring for a disabled family member. However, after a period of therapy, the employee alleged that she had actually become ill after being subjected to bullying in the workplace.
As part of her contract of employment, the employee was entitled to six months full pay for each year she spent signed off. Although lead lawyer Kathryn Fielder had initially advised that the company should take an occupational health route, the report was considered non-conclusive and an alternative resolution needed to be found quickly.
The issue was complicated further by the fact that her main contacts within the company were no longer employed. However, the team at B P Collins LLP were able to bring the case to a swift end after forcing the ex-employee's hand by suggesting she lodge a formal grievance through the courts.
This new tactic revealed that the ex-employee lacked the concrete evidence needed to prove her grievance, forcing her to settle a claim potentially worth £200,000 for just £17,000 – an outcome the client was pleased with and grateful for the advice which finally saw an end to a protracted and potentially high cost employment issue.