Employment contract terminated decisively in the end

The owner of a jewellery shop came to us saying that for the last six months he had been having a dispute with one of his employees as he wished to terminate her employment contract due to repeated sickness absences. It turned out that the employee had been off sick for almost a year as a result of this employment dispute.

All this time, the parties were in discussion about the termination of the employment contract. However, they were unable to reach agreement. The employer

had got to the stage where he sometimes took no action on the matter for weeks at a time. Finally, he decided to contact our firm to see if we could assist him.

Of course, we immediately realised that the difference between the two parties’ wishes was insignificant in comparison with the lengthy period that had passed since the discussions began. The employer would have saved himself a lot of money if he had been prepared to make greater concessions at the start.

To ensure no more time was lost, we contacted the employee immediately and she actually turned out to be prepared to make some compromises to reach agreement with the employer. Within a couple of hours, the termination had been agreed to the satisfaction of both parties.

This shows that where an issue threatens to turn into a dispute it is better to seek legal advice early on. In some cases a waiting game can be the right tactic, but where matters of principle are involved the outcome can be costly in financial terms and taking immediate action is often the wiser course.

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