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Jenny
Jenny, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 6307
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor specialising in Employment Law and general legal matters. Please start your question For Jenny Only
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I employed a full time cook at my home for a period of 13 years.

Resolved Question:

I employed a full time cook at my home for a period of 13 years. I have now let her go and wonder what is considered standard severance pay for this situation.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jenny replied 2 years ago.
taratill :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I am happy to help you today. Why have you let her go?

Customer:

Attitude and not willing to discuss problem except on her own terms.

taratill :

Ok when did this happen?

Customer:

Ongoing but culminated a few months ago

Customer:

I must accept partial culpability in that I hate to face confrontation and instead internalize things which, of course, is bad for one's health. I felt that for both our sakes a separation was due.

taratill :

Is she still working for you and if not when was the last day she worked?

Customer:

She was terminated about a month ago

taratill :

Ok thanks, ***** ***** hold a disciplinary hearing of any sort? and has she asked for a payment?

Customer:

Disciplinary hearing? I don't understand. No, she has not asked for payment

taratill :

Ok no problem. Did she only work for you as she was full time?

Customer:

In a sense, she fired herself. Although I hate verbal confrontation I don't mind written confrontation. I wrote my concerns to her including the fact that she is a hoarder and does not treat her apartments which I furnish in an acceptable manor. She wrote back that I was amongst other things "mean spirited". I wrote back to say that I was sure she would not want to work for someone who was mean spirited nor did I wish to have someone working for me who FELT I was mean spirited. Yes, she worked only for me.

taratill :

Ok it is likely for employment law purposes that she would be considered to be your employee rather than self employed. I attach information for you to read about that for your information. http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/wales/e_information_for_small_employers.pdf

taratill :

This being the case there is a small risk that she could claim that she has been unfairly dismissed as there was no disciplinary procedure followed when she was dismissed (or dismissed herself).

taratill :

Normally if a dismissal is for insubordination it would amount to gross misconduct and so long as a procedure is followed no serverance is due (they can be terminated with immediate effect).

Customer:

So, could you be more specific? Should she receive, for instance, six months severance pay? A year's pay? One month for every year of service? What would seem fair?

taratill :

If severance pay is paid then it normally would equate to a statutory redundancy payment of a week per year's pay up to a maxumum of 12 weeks. There is a risk that if you pay this she could still claim unless it is paid by way of a settlement agreement.

taratill :

A settlement agreement would effectively sign away any right she may have to bring an unfair dismissal claim against you in the future.

taratill :

If you would like any further information about this please do let me know.

Customer:

Wow! That doesn't seem like very much, but will take it into consideration and I thank you very much.

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