“Fake news” re employment law in the media

“Fake news” re-employment law in the media

Panto now over, I have time to catch up with my television viewing. And my favorite at the moment is the most recent series of “Cold Feet”.

Or at least it was until the end of the series. Let me explain.

Karen, who has worked in a publishing house for 8 years, has a new boss. They have “creative differences” about where she should be spending her time: fiction or coffee-table books.

She says that she would rather keep doing fiction, so he says that they have to consider other options.

“You have been here for 8 years, so that’s 8 months’ pay. So you either deal with these books or move on”!


And worryingly, there are managers out there that will think that they are allowed to give someone their options like that!

Now some misguided souls may be asking what is wrong with that approach, it is honest, and direct and cuts out the bulls**t.

  • It is constructive dismissal. There has been no procedure followed.
    • This award could be as much as one year’s pay, with a 25% uplift for not following a procedure. So if Karen is on £60k, then her employer could end up paying £75k plus their and her legal costs!
  • She could easily claim age and sex discrimination, as she is around the 45-50 years old, and the new guy has only targeted her. He would be hard pressed to prove that it wasn’t, and that is what you have to do in discrimination cases – prove that you are innocent.
    • This award is unlimited and could run to hundreds of thousands of pounds.

And what did Karen do? She took the 8 months’ money and set up in business on her own.

Lucky escape for that fictional employer but be warned: those types of escapes almost never happen in real life!

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