Great-Grandmother Wins £24K in Unfair Dismissal Case After Boss Tells Her to Slap Her Great-Grandson

Great-Grandmother Wins £24K in Unfair Dismissal Case After Boss Tells Her to Slap Her Great-Grandson
Photo Credits - Jeremy Wong via Unsplash

Following her triumph in her unfair dismissal case, a great-grandmother has been granted a substantial award of over £24,000. The employment tribunal uncovered the distressing circumstances that led to her resignation, revealing instances of “aggressive” criticism from her employer. After being told she should give her great-grandson “a good slap”, she felt she had no choice but to resign.

Today, we dive into the intricacies of what went down, when they occurred, and discuss what the employment tribunal had to say about this unfair dismissal case.

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£24k Unfair Dismissal Case After Rejecting Unthinkable Advice

Great-Grandmother Assumes Foster Care Responsibilities

Mrs Lee-Shields commenced her employment with Exquisite Displays Limited on 10 March 2003. Fast forward to March 2021, she took on the role of foster carer for her four-year-old great-grandson. At first, Exquisite Displays seemed empathetic of her circumstances, showing signs of support in light of her new responsibilities.

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After all, the great-grandmother was balancing her work, caring responsibilities, and navigating through criminal proceedings involving a family member. As such, her employer implemented various adjustments, which included flexible start and finish times and the use of a private office for meetings with social services.

Great-Grandson Becomes Violent

Unfortunately, trouble arose in early 2022 when the great-grandson started to become violent towards pupils and school staff. Consequently, there were occasions when Mrs Lee-Shields had to go and pick him up. As such, she communicated this to the directors at Exquisite Displays, who agreed to new flexibility to accommodate this.

However, the influx of school and social services calls soon increased dramatically. This significantly impacted Mrs Lee-Shields’ working capabilities and frustrated her employer, as their ability to complete orders was substantially hindered. 

Tensions peaked when one of the directors expressed their frustration, suggesting the great-grandson needed a “good slap”. Yet they weren’t alone, as the other director recommended similar treatment, claiming, “It never did any harm to my kids”.

Unfair Dismissal Case Begins

Ultimately, the issues came to a head on 10 March when the great-grandson was excluded. Even before she became aware of this, Mrs Lee-Shields arrived to work late and was chastised with a blunt: “Stop chatting and concentrate on your work”. 

To amplify the hostility, when she learned of the exclusion and told her employer, they replied, “Where’s his f**king dad in all this?”. They also stated, “Just give him a good slap”, when they thought she was leaving to collect him. The employer had mistakenly believed the great-grandmother was handling the collection despite previously arranging for her son to do it.

"Just give him a good slap" - Great-grandmother wins £24k in unfair dismissal case after she felt forced to resign when her boss suggested that she should give her great-grandson a “good slap”.

At that moment, Mrs Lee-Shields had reached her limit. She responded to her employer, “Don’t you think he’s been through enough?” before later asserting, “You obviously don’t want me here”. Subsequently, the great-grandmother resigned before initiating her unfair dismissal case.

Employment Tribunal Dismisses Employer’s Arguments

During proceedings, Exquisite Designs attempted to argue that Mrs Lee-Shields had been dishonest regarding her care plans. However, the tribunal saw through these attempts, ruling that the employer had made incorrect assumptions about the circumstances.

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Instead, they found the employer’s “aggressive” nature had breached the implied term of trust and confidence, damaging the employment relationship. Therefore, they ruled in favour of the great-grandmother’s unfair dismissal case and awarded her £24,725.35.

Claim Compensation with Redmans Solicitors

Once employees have gained two years of continuous employment with their employer, they are protected from unfair dismissal. This means their employer cannot sack them without following a fair process and providing a fair reason.

If they do, the employee could begin by pursuing internal procedures to rectify the matter. However, should this prove unsuccessful or not be possible, the employee may wish to initiate an unfair dismissal case of their own. 

If this is the case, consider contacting Redmans Solicitors now. They are specialists in the employment law sector and could provide you with advice before navigating you through the legal process effectively.

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