Case Study

Managing a fair dismissal process
High Street retail business

A retailer had employed a staff member for 7 years.  This employee was not performing their managerial role at all and was generally uninterested in customer service which was key to their front of shop position.  The business was suffering financially as a result.  The client had not documented any performance concerns and the employee was unaware that their conduct was having a detrimental impact on the viability of the business.

Ortolan’s Employment law team set out the different options available to the retailer when dealing with the employee.  These options included: performance management and undertaking an ACAS compliant disciplinary process, discussions around making the managerial role redundant (in this case shop staff managed themselves and due to ongoing concerns over the manager’s competence, head office now undertook stock control re-ordering and staff rotas which meant there was no longer a need for a designated manager), having off-record discussions to see why the employee was not performing and considering an exit strategy with enhanced payment.

  • The client initiated a performance management process with the employee, with the full intention of seeking improved employee engagement;
  • This having failed, Ortolan helped document and advise on the necessary next steps (written warnings escalating to dismissal as appropriate.
  • Following formal and informal discussions, the employee duly resigned.
  • The client appropriately managed its risks and minimised any unfair dismissal exposure.
  • The client did not have to fund an enhanced package or redundancy pay.
  • Achieved the desired approach whilst working within current employment legislation.
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Unipart Group has used Ortolan Legal’s services to supplement our in-house legal team for a number of years. We keep coming back to them because their unique combination of experienced, high quality lawyers at extremely cost-effective rates sets them apart from other law firms. It also has to be said that their team are personable, highly commercial and very responsive. I would recommend them without reservation.

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