This case study is about ‘not knowing what you don’t know’. It actually happened and the company was the pride and joy for the two people who set it up and were making it very successful but again, no names to protect confidentiality and integrity.
I received a phone call from somebody I didn’t know and have never worked with. They had been referred to me by a company that we both used, so that was the link.
The conversation went along the following lines:
“I have been given your details by ‘xxx’. We have an issue at work and we need help”
“Ok, what has happened?”
“We have just found out that one of our members of staff has set up a new company and is marketing all of our customers to use their services instead of ours so we have sacked them”
“Ok – how long has this person worked for you?”
“About four years”
“and you have actually sacked them have you?”
“Yes … marched him off the premises this morning but I am told that I may have acted a little too hastily, is this right?”
“Yes, you might have done … let’s talk it through and see what we can do to recover the situation for you so you don’t find yourself having to defend an unfair dismissal claim”.
So, in this situation, we are dealing with a business that is very proud of what they have achieved and have been serious let down by an employee that they trusted. I would probably feel exactly the same as they did in a similar situation. However, they didn’t understand the implications of what they had done … even though they felt totally justified in the actions they took.
The outcome was about helping them ‘recover’ the situation so they were not faced with an unfair dismissal claim, which I am pleased to say was successful. Any employee with more than two year’s continuous service has the right NOT to be unfairly dismissed and the crime actually plays very little part in that right.
So if you are ‘not sure you know … or admit you don’t know what you don’t know’, we can help, especially if you call us BEFORE you take action.