Case studies: Employment law in action

    Our Senior Employment Lawyers outline some of the employment law cases they undertake on behalf of employees.


    Here’s a selection of mini-case studies of ‘real life’ cases that Monaco Solicitors’ specialist employment law team has recently won on behalf of employees.

    The studies will give you an idea of the range of cases that we take on. The exact details have been changed to preserve client confidentiality.

    Case Study Topic: High-value settlement for manager sacked for having a baby

    Our Solicitor’s Summary:

    We were instructed by a Senior Manager who enjoyed respect and long service and had a proven track record in her position. She was recognised by her employer as being instrumental in her role and commended for being pivotal in the growth and expansion of the business. Her vision, innovation and business development strategy had resulted in significant profits for the enterprise.

    Attitudes towards her fundamentally changed following the announcement of her first pregnancy and a short period of maternity leave.

    Upon her return to work, it appeared that objectives had changed. There now appeared to be a deliberate and engineered campaign to test her commitment and resolve. Due to her responsibilities as a new mum, she spent several months striving to create a work/life balance arrangement that would accommodate all parties and their competing interests.

    However, her change in circumstances was not well received and the business appeared to resent her new role. She was suddenly marginalised, harassed, removed from her substantive position and subjected to unfounded allegations of underperformance.

    Despite her commendable efforts to challenge the acts of discrimination, victimisation and injustice via internal procedures, she was eventually exited from the business.

    The sustained campaign to punish her for starting a family and interfering with high-value business objectives had a substantial and adverse effect on her well-being and the precious time she should have been dedicating to bonding time with her baby.

    We were able to help her navigate the very technical and complex legal arguments and processes and successfully negotiated a compensation package of £500,000.

    This was a complex negotiation including different aspects of loss of earnings and loss of opportunity compensation. The end result has secured her family’s future and provided her with several options for future career opportunities. It was an outstanding victory for a female employee dedicated to both work and family against a business that disregarded her employment rights in preference for profit.


    Case Study Topic: Regulatory counsel

    Our Solicitor’s Summary:

    Our Client was a regulatory counsel at a large investment bank. She had been headhunted to a niche role that had involved a 12-month recruitment process.

    Following 15 months of successful service, a new line manager concluded that she wanted to appoint a lawyer with greater seniority and commenced a performance management process.

    Our Client was signed off with stress and depression and her employer offered to pay her in lieu of her notice to leave employment. Following, our intervention, we were able to secure a settlement that was equivalent to her annual remuneration package.

    The settlement included additional provisions for continuing some contractual benefits for six months post-termination and outplacement support.


    Case Study Topic: Redundancy consultation

    Our Solicitor’s Summary:

    We were approached by a client who was in the midst of a redundancy consultation process from a software company that was affecting him and 18 colleagues.

    We advised our client on the consultation process, in particular, that the Company was likely to be vulnerable to a protective award claim for a failure to inform and consult under section 188 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.

    Our intervention resulted in a higher settlement and full release on onerous restrictive covenants. The Client was so impressed he referred his colleagues and we secured the same terms for the referred clients.


    Case Study Topic: Is a protected conversation really protected?

    Our Solicitor’s Summary:

    A senior manager came to us having been told by her employer she was going to be dismissed and offered a settlement agreement. She was sent home today. The employer believed that the employee could not rely on the conversation to prove unfair dismissal as it was a “protected conversation”.

    We were able to point out to her employer that the conversation about the settlement was not protected because they had already told the employee she was to be dismissed. As such, they had no defence to an unfair dismissal claim. We were able to more than double the amount of compensation offered.


    Case Study Topic: Using sick leave during a PIP

    Our Solicitor’s Summary:

    A senior consultant approached us having been placed on a performance improvement plan. (“PIP”). The plan set out targets that the consultant had no hope of meeting given his pipeline and the consultant had little prospect of not being dismissed on the grounds of capability after a 3-month process.

    The consultant was severely stressed due to his impending loss of employment, so we advised him of his right to take sick leave due to stress. While he was on sick leave, his employer was unable to advance the PIP as they could not fairly assess his performance when he wasn’t there.

    We were able to negotiate a settlement significantly in excess of the 3 month period the employer would have taken to complete the PIP had the consultant remained at work.


    Case Study Topic: Unfair treatment during maternity leave

    Our Solicitor’s Summary:

    An employee came to us given the changes that had transpired in her workplace while she was absent on maternity leave. There had been changes in the business while she was away and all of her (male) colleagues had been promoted as a result.

    Although the employee was informed of the changes being made, she was not consulted about the impact on her role or given the opportunity to apply for the new roles her colleagues had been promoted to.

    The employer felt very strongly that they had done nothing wrong as the employee’s role still existed and they were very keen for her to return to it. They felt the fact that other people were promoted was immaterial to her position.

    We were able to explain to them that excluding the employee from discussions about the changes and denying her the opportunity to be considered for the new roles (even if she would have been unsuccessful) in effect treated the employee as though she was not part of the team, and the reason for this treatment was the employee’s maternity leave.

    As such, the employer’s actions were discriminatory. The employer reconsidered their position and agreed on a substantial settlement.

    Next steps

    If you would like help with your employment case from specialist employment lawyers who have years of experience in successfully representing employees, get in touch with Monaco Solicitors using one of the following:

    This website link

    Phone: 020 7717 5259