Deadly sins and legal madness

Mar 11 2005 by Brian Amble Print This Article

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

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