Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. What are your specific queries in relation to this please?
Hello sorry I was offline by the time your reply had come through.
If an employee has been continuously employed with their employer for at least 2 years they will be protected against unfair dismissal. That means that to fairly dismiss them their employer has to show that there was a potentially fair reason for dismissal and that a fair dismissal procedure was followed.
According to the Employment Rights Act 1996 there are five separate reasons that an employer could use to show that a dismissal was fair: conduct, capability, redundancy, illegality or some other substantial reason (SOSR). The employer will not only need to show that the dismissal was for one of those reasons, but also justify that it was appropriate and reasonable to use in the circumstances.
I see no fair reason in your circumstances for either you or your husband to be dismissed and if the employer goes ahead with either dismissal it is most likely going to amount to an unfair dismissal. In that case a claim can be made in the employment tribunal within3 months of the dismissal to seek compensation. It would be for the employer to show there was a fair reason and a fair procedure had been followed if they are to successfully defend such a claim.
As an alternative to claiming, the employer may be approached on a without prejudice basis (i.e. off the record) to try and discuss the possibility of leaving under a settlement agreement. Under a settlement agreement, the employee gets compensated for leaving the company and in return promises not to make any claims against the employer in the future. It is essentially a clean break, although the employer does not have to agree to it so it will be subject to negotiation.
If the employer does not initially wish to consider such an option, once a claim has been made they may reconsider their position as they will find that they will spend a considerable amount of time and expenses defending the claim so the settlement agreement may be a more commercially acceptable option.