Will tribunal ruin my prospects?

have just been dismissed (unfairly, I believe) from my role as personnel
manager in an IT company. With 10 years HR experience, will taking my former
employer to an employment tribunal damage my career prospects?

Coldwell, consultant, Chiumento

you believe you have a case for unfair dismissal and will be aware of your
entitlements. However, most companies would not readily embark upon a route to
dismissal of an HR professional unless they knew they were on solid ground.

an objective viewpoint on the situation. Seek specialist legal advice, talk to
your opposite numbers in other companies, and call the CIPD for guidance.

you have established whether you have a case, you need to weigh up the costs
and benefits – if sound and substantial recompense is likely, it may be worth

you decide, the issue of a reference will be crucial, as this will inform
prospective employers about the terms on which you left, so ensure you are
clear about what will be said. Similarly, you need to prepare a statement to
use at interview, summarising why you left.

best approach is to be factual and brief and use it to demonstrate what you
learned from the experience.

Baker, head of practice, Macmillan Davies Hodes

as HR professionals we do not use the mechanisms available to hold unscrupulous
employers to account, we are potentially guilty of allowing them to think they
can behave how they wish, with no respect for the law. However, you could
potentially put yourself at a disadvantage, when you explain to potential
employers that you are taking this course of action.

if we consider that you probably would not want to work for another
unscrupulous employer in the future, I would pursue the tribunal route and
explain to potential employers why you are doing this. If they then do not
consider you for a role (although it is highly unlikely they would state this
as the reason), they probably aren’t the type of company you would want to work

be reassured that there are many employees with successful careers who have had
to take this course of action in the past.

Sell, joint managing director, DMS Consultancy

the culture of the company has been to get rid of employees without
consideration of fair employment procedures and employment legislation, what
has been your influence in building and supporting that culture? A prospective
employer may question your influencing skills and professional capability.

this is a genuine case of unfair dismissal you should pursue your claim, as in
the future you will need to justify why you left that role. When talking to
prospective employers be open about the facts. If they question your values,
look elsewhere.

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