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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Employment Law
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We have a full time employee who has worked for us for over

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We have a full time employee who has worked for us for over three years. He had a relationship with my daughter and they have a child together and lived together. They have now split up, which has been a very messy affair. They are separated and are potentially going to fight for custody. My main issue, however, is that he has been harassing etc my daughter, which we have sought legal help over, especially regarding custody/visitations. He has however, never really faltered in his dutys at work, missed the odd day after arguments etc, but nothing major. We would be looking to potentially terminate his employment but what is the best way to do this. Is there a conflict of interest? Any advice would be much appreciated

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

If an employee has been continuously employed with their employer for at least 2 years they will be protected against unfair dismissal. That means that to fairly dismiss them their employer has to show that there was a potentially fair reason for dismissal and that a fair dismissal procedure was followed.


According to the Employment Rights Act 1996 there are five separate reasons that an employer could use to show that a dismissal was fair: conduct, capability, redundancy, illegality or some other substantial reason (SOSR). The employer will not only need to show that the dismissal was for one of those reasons, but also justify that it was appropriate and reasonable to use in the circumstances.


The only feasible reason in your case is would be SOSR, perhaps because there has been a breach of trust and confidence, but this would not be without its risks. So while loss of trust and confidence has been held to be an SOSR reason, reliance on the loss of trust and confidence alone will not usually be enough to establish a fair dismissal. There really had to have been a serious breach of trust that affects employer and employee and makes their continued employment no longer possible. I am not sure every judge that may see this would agree this is the case and as such there is a risk with proceeding with a straight dismissal - the employee can easily make a claim for unfair dismissal if necessary.


You may instead wish to consider discussing some type of settlement and a mutual exit, under the terms of a compromise agreement where you leave on mutually acceptable terms and it is essentially a clean break - he gets paid off and in turn agrees not to make any claims against you.

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