Category Archives: Unfair dismissal

Blog: Lies, damn lies and dismissals

Anne-Marie Boyle, Partner
If a fairy dies every time an employee is given a fake reason for their dismissal, then there can’t be many fairies left out there. Well, not in my experience of over 20 years advising on employment law issues. Hand on heart, how many of you have told a poorly-performing employee that their job is…
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Case update (1): Unfair dismissal – Investigation

Summary:  Can including too much information in an investigation report, in particular previous incidents which have not been the subject of disciplinary action, mean that a dismissal is unfair? No, says the EAT in NHS 24 v Pillar available here. Facts: The employee, Ms Pillar, was employed by NHS 24 (Scotland’s national telehealth organisation) as…
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Case update (2): Tribunal awards – calculating a week’s pay

Summary:  Should a week’s pay include employer pension contributions, rather than just basic pay, for calculation of compensation for claims under the Employment Rights Act 1996 (including unfair dismissal and failure to inform and consult)? Yes, says the EAT in University of Sunderland v Drossou, available here. Facts:  Ms Drossou worked for the University of…
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Case update (2): Unfair dismissal – Lack of appeal evidence not fatal

Summary: Can a capability dismissal be fair in circumstances where: (1) the appeal decision did not give reasons for rejecting the employee’s appeal; and (2) no member of the appeal panel gave witness evidence at the unfair dismissal Tribunal hearing? Yes, in circumstances where the appeal is a simple re-hearing says the EAT in Elmore…
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Case update (1): Unfair dismissal – Poor attitude to change

Summary: Can an employee’s poor attitude to organisational change amount to gross misconduct and justify dismissal without notice, despite procedural irregularities? Yes, says the Court of Appeal in Adeshina v St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and others available here. Facts:  Ms Adeshina was employed as principal pharmacist in the Prison Service as part…
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Case update (1): Sickness absence – Long term illness & dismissal

stress and long term absence
Summary: When can an employer fairly dismiss an employee who has been absent from work due to long-term illness? The Court of Appeal has provided helpful advice in O’Brien v Bolton St Catherine’s Academy available here. Facts:  The employee, Ms O’Brien, was a teacher and head of department at the employer. She was assaulted by…
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Case update (1): Unfair dismissal – re-engagement

Summary:  In cases of re-engagement, whose belief in the breakdown of trust and confidence between employer and employee is the most critical; the Tribunal’s or the employer’s? The employer’s, says the EAT in United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust v Farren available here.  The Tribunal should not substitute its view on a breakdown in trust…
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Newsflash: Unfair dismissal – You’ve been warned (again and again!)

Summary: Can expired warnings ever be taken into account when dismissing an employee? Yes, sometimes, says the EAT in Stratford v Auto Trail VR Ltd available here. Facts:  The employee, Mr Stratford started work for the employer, Auto Trail VR Ltd (Auto Trail), in November 2001. Mr Stratford had a poor disciplinary record. The last…
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Case update (3): Unfair dismissal – protected conversations

Summary:  Does a short timescale for acceptance and misrepresentation of facts amount to ‘improper behaviour’ and therefore render a ‘protected conversation’ and without prejudice offer admissible for the purposes of a constructive dismissal claim? Yes, says the EAT in Lenlyn UK Ltd v Kular, available here. Background:  In July 2013 the concept of “protected conversations”…
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Case update (1): Unfair dismissal – Investigations into serious misconduct

Summary:  Do procedural defects in serious misconduct investigation impact on the fairness of dismissal, even if rectified on appeal? Yes, says the EAT in Tykocki v Royal Bournemouth & Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust available here. Facts:  The employee, Ms Tykocki, in this case was a long-serving Health Care Assistant, who was dismissed for gross…
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