Our client was a small business in the retail industry. It had recently dismissed an employee for various persistent problems including continual lateness, frequent short-term absences and deteriorating attitude to work. The manager had held various meetings with the employee prior to dismissing her, attempting to understand the reasons for her actions and whether he could offer any help or support. However, the employee’s behaviour did not improve, and the manager felt he was left with no option but to dismiss the individual. 
The employee then issued a claim for disability discrimination against the employer, alleging that the company’s reasons for dismissing her were related to a mental health condition. The employee had not explicitly mentioned this condition during any of the meetings with her manager, despite being asked several times whether there were any underlying reasons for actions. 
The client was very worried about having to defend the claim, having never experienced the Tribunal litigation process. Our client understood that discrimination claims can be particularly costly as compensation is uncapped, so they were very keen to manage costs. Personally, the manager involved felt very upset and disappointed to have received the claim, as he felt that he had done all he could to support the employee before dismissing her. 
The client had legal expenses insurance to cover the cost of legal advice, so the first thing we did was liaise with the insurers about the terms of the policy. We continued to liaise with the insurers throughout the case, ensuring that they were informed of progress throughout, approved all of our strategic decisions in advance, and agreed to fund all legal expenses incurred at each stage. 
We conducted a full review of the claim, which enabled us to advise our client on the strengths and weaknesses of their defence and the possible compensation if the claim was successful. We became the formal representatives of the company in the Tribunal claim so that all correspondence was sent through us. We went on to prepare documents, evidence and witness statements for the subsequent stages of the Tribunal process. 
We supported our client to prepare for Judicial Mediation, alongside our appointed barrister who attended the Tribunal. We helped the client to understand the strengths and weaknesses of their defence, and the potential outcomes if the case was not settled, so that they could reach informed decisions balancing costs and risks. 
Initially the client was reluctant to settle the claim and wanted to defend it in the Tribunal as they felt they hadn’t done anything wrong. However, as the matter progressed, the client became willing to explore alternatives with less financial risk (their insurance covered legal costs, but if the claim was successful the company would have to pay any compensation granted itself). We worked with the client to decide the terms on which they would be willing to settle. It was important to them not to admit any fault and that the agreement was in their best interests financially. 
The mediation was successful, and the parties agreed to settle the claim. The claimant accepted a small amount of compensation, much less than the initial amount she was seeking, and our client did not admit any fault. Our client was extremely pleased with the outcome and relieved to bring a difficult and worrying time to a close. 
As well as our legal advice, the client appreciated the support and understanding shown to the manager and staff members involved. None were experienced in the Tribunal process and so found the whole situation daunting and nerve-wracking at times. They appreciated our efforts to help and guide them through the various stages, answering any questions they had and helping them to focus on the key issues. 
They have also become much more familiar with employment law and Tribunal process, meaning that they are now more confident to deal with other HR issues that arise. 
Share this post:


Do you have a legal matter you'd like to discuss with us? Get in touch using the details below or use the form here and a member of our team will be in touch to discuss your enquiry. 
Phone: 0121 817 0520 
Address: Spencer Shaw Solicitors Limited 
St Mary's House, 68 Harborne Park Road,  
Harborne, Birmingham, B17 0DH 
Opening hours: 
Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 5:00PM 
Saturday, Sunday & Bank Holidays - Closed 
Keep in touch 


We take your privacy seriously and will only use the information you provide on this contact form to deal with your enquiry. Please see our Client Privacy Policy for more detail. 
Our site uses cookies. For more information, see our cookie policy. Accept cookies and close
Reject cookies Manage settings