Deadly sins and legal madness


Over at Personnel Today Daniel Isaac, principal in the employment group at law firm Withers LLP, offers a legal take on the "seven deadly sins of management".

1. Indiscretion: writing down legal advice
2. Imprecision: summarising insurance terms
3. Carelessness: slipping up on the statutory dismissal procedure
4. Sloth: neglecting unsigned contracts
5. Recklessness: paying in lieu of notice
6. Misrepresentation: offering tax-free payments
7. Verbosity: issuing side letters

Statutory dismissal procedures are a particularly scary and contentious area for Britain's employers, applying in all cases except where the employee resigns or where the employee is fired for gross misconduct:

Slipping up on the new statutory dismissal procedure will lead to a finding of automatic unfair dismissal and an increase in the compensation payable to the employee of between 10% and 50%.

But what constitutes gross misconduct? In one recent case, a woman who was sacked after sending and receiving more than 300 personal messages — 36 of them sexually explicit or containing bad language — in 15 weeks was awarded £26,245 in compensation by a Tribunal after claiming for unfair dismissal.

Little wonder that most employers feel that Britain's deluge of employment legislation is so blatantly biased in favour of employees - especially when almost nine out of ten people told a survey last year that they would be prepared to lie if it meant winning a pay-out from their employer.

Personnel Today | Seven deadly sins of management