Unfair dismissal can blight your career indefinitely but, with the right legal advice, you can be compensated for every penny you lose in earnings. One case that proved the point concerned a finance director who was persecuted for whistleblowing and found herself out of a job in middle age.
The woman blew the whistle on the chief executive officer of the company for which she worked in respect of a share deal. She ultimately resigned, but her complaint that her constructive dismissal was automatically unfair, within the meaning of the Employment Rights Act 1996, was upheld by an Employment Tribunal (ET).
The ET ruled, however, that a two-year cut off should apply to her future loss of earnings claim. That was on the basis of medical evidence that she would by then have achieved optimum recovery from the trauma of her dismissal.
In upholding her challenge to that decision, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) noted that the woman was in her fifties and was unlikely ever again to achieve such a senior position, nor such a high level of remuneration. Her recovery was not expected to be complete even after two years of rehabilitation.
The work that she was likely to find in the future was at best that of a financial controller. In the circumstances, the EAT found that her loss of earnings arising from her dismissal would continue throughout her working life. The case was sent back to the same ET for the value of her claim to be reassessed upwards.