Jaguar Land Rover to Pay £147K After an Employee Was Dismissed Unfairly and Accused of Not Trying Hard Enough to Find a Job
In the case of Mr Daniel Williams v Jaguar Land Rover Limited, Mr Williams was awarded £147,572.75 after an earlier tribunal ruled he’d been dismissed unfairly and faced discrimination. This came after Jaguar Land Rover unsuccessfully argued for reduced compensation, claiming Mr Williams hadn’t adequately attempted to find alternative employment.
Below, we discuss what happened in the case and the employment tribunal’s judgment. Then, we explore when you could claim for unfair dismissal and how we could help. You can get in touch with us today by:
The Facts in Mr Daniel Williams v Jaguar Land Rover Limited
Mr Williams (“The Claimant”) had been employed by Jaguar Land Rover Limited (“The Respondent”) as a production operative. He had worked for them from 12 April 2014 to 19 March 2020.
The claimant had been dismissed during a period of mental-health-related absences despite such issues being almost resolved. Upon being, what the tribunal had previously held to be, dismissed unfairly, he was paid £4400 in lieu of notice.
Subsequently, Mr Williams lived with his parents, surviving on his payment in lieu of notice (PILON). He struggled to sleep, constantly re-running the events of his dismissal over in his head. Furthermore, he felt worthless and upset about not being able to provide for his daughter after losing his job.
Mr Williams’ Job Hunt After Being Dismissed Unfairly
Then, in July 2020, Mr Williams began looking for work once his PILON had run out. This was also around the first time lockdown restrictions had mostly lifted during the Covid pandemic.
However, his options were heavily limited due to not having a driving licence and relying on public transport. In fact, he could only pass his driving test in February 2023 due to difficulties obtaining an instructor caused by the Covid backlog.
Moreover, his difficulties finding work were heightened by the unprecedented number of furloughs and redundancies caused by Covid, only surviving on Universal Credit. Although he had sought work at local factories, he had no success.
Retrained as a Plumber
So, after receiving advice, the claimant decided to retrain as a plumber on a free one-year course starting on 10 September 2020. During this time, he continued looking for work that would fit around the course and his child-care responsibilities and be accessible by public transport. This included seasonal work at Aldi and Boots, but again, he had yet to obtain a job.
By 2021, Mr Williams had signed up to an agency, securing one day’s work. He covered for someone who hadn’t turned up at BMW Hams Hall’s automotive production site. At the same time, the claimant began seeking work as a plumber’s mate, contacting local businesses.
Yet around 9 September 2021, Mr Williams completed his plumbing course and began working with Hardyman on a self-employed basis. Then, on 27 March 2023, he secured a full-time heating and ventilation engineer role. However, this role paid less than the one he had with the respondent, and would take a year to reach his previous salary.
The Tribunal’s Judgment
The employment tribunal addressed two claims made by the respondent. First, even if the claimant hadn’t been dismissed unfairly, it would have still occurred shortly after due to his absences. Second, Mr Williams didn’t take adequate steps to mitigate his losses. They argued that, among other things, he could have:
- Undertook a more thorough employment search from the Summer of 2020
- Taken more time to search for work before deciding to retrain as a plumber
- Worked part-time whilst he was studying
- Registered with an employment agency before February 2021
However, in addressing the first complaint, the tribunal ruled Mr Williams wouldn’t have been dismissed shortly after his unfair dismissal. This is because they found he would have been fit to return to full-time work by 2 March 2020. Moreover, there was no evidence he wanted to leave, with him outlining his desire to stay in his dismissal appeal.
Then, concerning the second complaint, the tribunal said the claimant had taken reasonable steps to minimise his losses after being dismissed unfairly. Furthermore, given his circumstances and the difficulties of Covid, they felt retraining as a plumber wasn’t unreasonable after unsuccessfully attempting to find work.
The tribunal then addressed Mr Williams’ compensation in light of their findings. They began by acknowledging that his loss of earnings ceased by July 2024.
Also, they concluded his unfair dismissal compensation should receive a 10% deduction following an absence on 18 September 2018. This is because, that day, he was absent from work looking after his daughter when he had childcare available. Therefore, the tribunal considered this choice blameworthy conduct, which contributed to his dismissal and made the reduction in compensation equitable.
Once the tribunal outlined the above, they awarded Mr Williams £147,572.75 due to being dismissed unfairly and facing discrimination.
Could I Claim if I’ve Been Dismissed Unfairly?
Employers should always be fair when dismissing an employee. If a dismissed employee believes their dismissal was unfair, they could appeal the decision. Supposing the decision is upheld, the employee may then want to claim compensation.
However, to do so, specific eligibility criteria must be satisfied. Should someone have been dismissed unfairly, they must’ve been an employee with two years of continuous employment with their employer and:
- Been dismissed for an unfair reason; or
- Been dismissed via an unfair procedure
If the employee believes they satisfy this eligibility criteria, they must then go through ACAS early conciliation. Furthermore, they must adhere to the time limits to proceed with a compensation claim.
If you believe you were dismissed unfairly, contact us today. Redmans Solicitors are expert employment lawyers and can assist you through the legal process. By contacting us, we can assess the validity of your claim and advise on your possible next steps.
What’s more, to ensure we can provide our support to as many people who need it as possible, we offer various funding options. So, to begin your journey with us today, simply: