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Tribunal Finds In Favour of Oakwood Park in Employment Dispute

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An employment tribunal judge has found that Oakwood Leisure Ltd/Deep Sea Leisure Plc acted lawfully when it deducted from an employee’s final salary, the costs incurred as a result of  his leaving the company without giving his full contractual notice.

Sophie Ray, Associate Solicitor in JCP’s Employment and HR team, acted for Oakwood Leisure Ltd, which runs the popular Oakwood Park attraction, in a claim by the former engineer for unlawful deduction from wages. Sophie said: “On this occasion, the employee’s contractual notice was one month, but he provided only one week, putting the company to the significant cost of finding urgent replacement labour with an external contractor. My client therefore defended their contractual right to recover the costs of the replacement labour from the employee and the Employment Tribunal Judge found in Oakwood Ltd’s favour, dismissing the claimant’s claim.

“One of the key issues in dispute was whether the employee remained within his probationary period, during which notice is one week. However, on the basis that the employee had been employed for 21 months, and that Oakwood had never informed him that his probationary period was to be extended, the Tribunal held that he was no longer in probation and therefore he was obliged to provide one months’ notice in accordance with his contract.”

Speaking of the judgement, Sue Elaiho, Regional Director of Oakwood Leisure Ltd/Deep Sea Leisure Plc said “We respect an employee’s decision to move on to different employment opportunities. However, where they choose to do so, it is important that they provide us with the benefit of their full contractual notice so that we can plan workforce requirements carefully and within budget.

“We appreciate the support of JCP Solicitors’ HR and Employment team in this matter.”

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