Case Study Three: ‘Brian’: An Unrepresented Claimant

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Brian had help from a CAB solicitor preparing his claim of constructive dismissal against his employer. However, having to represent himself at hearing was an enormous strain, especially given his limited education, severe dyslexia and the stress he was already suffering as a result of the nature of the dispute.

Brian, a man in his early 40s, had worked as a car valet in a car sales yard for more than eight years. During this time, he claimed to have experienced verbal abuse from his immediate manager, the son of the owner. Brian had talked with the owner about the abuse on a number of occasions. This would improve the situation temporarily, but the bullying would resume shortly thereafter. When Brian attended a hospital appointment his manager phoned him, swearing at him and demanding he return to work. Brian collapsed shortly afterwards and was advised by a nurse not to go back to work. Brian resigned from his job. Initially Brian did not intend to seek legal redress for the way he had been treated at work and began looking for new work. After some reflection, Brian felt that his boss should not be able to get away with forcing him to leave a job that he loved. His wife encouraged Brian to contact Acas, whose representative suggested that he see a solicitor. Brian attended a free initial appointment with a solicitor who told him to submit a grievance letter to his employer and that further free legal information could be obtained from a solicitor at the CAB. Brian had a Gateway interview.

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Advising in Austerity
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