Employment Law News

Guernsey employers who are reticent about dealing with cases of poor performance or misconduct in the workplace because they think the odds are stacked against them in tribunals should take heart from two particular cases in which complaints of unfair dismissal have been rejected.

In Henderson versus Channel Island Ceramics the tribunal decided that although not all the usually-required disciplinary stages were gone through by the employer, the seriousness of the employee's misconduct in this case was such that the dismissal was deemed to be fair.

 In Gomes versus Carlton Hotels, the Tribunal decided that it did not agree with the employee's version of events and dismissed the complaint.

 In fact, the Commerce and Employment website shows that over the last few years slightly more complaints were dismissed than upheld.

 Even though the relevant local legislation is routinely referred to as employment protection legislation, this should not be taken to mean that employees who are not up to the mark or who have misbehaved cannot be properly dealt with. Provided employers act reasonably by following the rules and the relevant codes of conduct they can be confident that a tribunal will dismiss any claim of unfair dismissal.

 However, in the same way as employers often get specialist advice when dealing with their tax problems, leases or health and safety issues, so they should also get professional advice from experts before dealing with disciplinary, redundancy or misconduct issues in the workplace. Advice is available from staff at the Employment Relations Service at Burnt Lane,as well as from an employment law specialist such as ourselves.

 Getting this kind of advice is particularly important for smaller firms for two reasons. Firstly, they are unlikely to have their own dedicated professional HR staff and secondly, particularly where it is a family firm or a small business built up by an individual, it can be difficult to stand aside from the problem and view it objectively. It helps to have a third party to give impartial and dispassionate advice.

For advice specific to you go to our Contacts page.

Castle Defence Employment Law Services: a friend in the Guernsey workplace