Lancs legal expert advises Coronation Street

Employment law experts at Napthens solicitors have advised Coronation Street on a plot involving legal issues which have seen a major character sacked from her on-screen job.

ITV approached Oliver McCann, employment partner at Napthens, for advice when researching the recent episode which saw Fiz Brown, played by Jennie McAlpine, fight with rival Kirsty Soames, played by actress Natalie Gumede.

The pair’s recent arguments ended up in a brawl at work in Coronation Street’s famous factory, with Fiz handed her P45 and sacked from her job at the business as a result.

Coronation Street researchers approached Oliver McCann for advice on the potential employment law issues arising from the fight whilst at work, whether Fiz could legally be sacked from her job, and of the possible consequences.

The episode, the series’ 8,007th, was aired on Friday, November 30.

Oliver said: “I was happy to advise Coronation Street’s researchers to help them fully understand the legal consequences which could arise from the reasons for, and manner of, Fiz’s sacking and give some extra credibility to the story line.

“With millions of viewers each week, it is critical for Coronation Street to run storylines that are true to life, and its makers regularly run plots past relevant experts.

“I advised that fighting in the workplace is usually a gross misconduct offence and can justify dismissal, although handing Fiz her P45 and dismissing her on the spot without investigation or a disciplinary hearing could render the dismissal procedurally unfair.

“I suggested to Coronation Street that, in the circumstances, Fiz could have grounds to threaten legal action and take it further if she wished. Clearly we would not encourage any employer to dismiss an employee on the spot without first taking advice.”