Unfair dismissal due to employer’s deliberate dishonesty

A sales manager who was instructed to ‘pretend to resign’ to avoid accruing employment rights was unfairly dismissed, according to an employment tribunal.

The employment judge ruled that the employer demonstrated ‘deliberate dishonesty’ throughout the tribunal proceedings and that a bonus dispute was the primary reason for dismissal. The tribunal found that the employee was “well on track” to achieve his sales targets but had a disagreement with his director about a £3,000 bonus.

At the start of the tribunal, the employment Judge noted that the employer “conceded” it did not act reasonably in dismissing the employee because of “procedural shortcomings”. He also criticised the managing director to be “wholly lacking in credibility” and said their evidence demonstrated a “casual disregard for accuracy; at worst, deliberate dishonesty”. It was ruled that the reason the employee was dismissed was because he had “insisted on being paid his contractual £3k bonus.

The employer then offered the employee an additional month’s pay if he pretended to resign, so as to avoid future litigation.  The employee refused and raised a claim at the employment tribunal.

The employee was awarded £37,560 in compensation along with a basic award of £1,632.

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