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HR tip: Reinstatement and re-engagement in tribunals

12th Jun 2008
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These questions are being answered by Learn HR, a market leader in the provision of HR and payroll training and nationally-recognised professional qualifications.

Question:
"If, as seems likely, we lose a case of unfair dismissal at an upcoming employment tribunal, and the tribunal requires us to take the employee back, are we obliged to do so? And what is the difference between reinstatement and re-engagement?"

HR tip:
Reinstatement means that you put the employee back into her old job. Re-engagement means that you take her back, but not necessarily into the same job, though it should be something similar in terms of skill required and salary.

The tribunal will award one of these only if the employee wants it and the tribunal considers it reasonable. You cannot be forced to take the employee back but, if you refuse the tribunal's demand, the compensation will be increased greatly.

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