Category Archives: Unfair dismissal

Case update (1): Unfair dismissal – The ‘Vanishing dismissal’

Summary:  Where a dismissed employee brings an internal appeal, which results in their re-instatement, should they be treated as if the employment relationship had remained in existence throughout the appeal process? Yes, says the EAT in Phoenix Academy Trust v Kilroy, available here, even if the employee made it clear when appealing that they have…
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Case update (2): Unfair dismissal – Personality clash S.O.S.R. dismissal

Summary:  Can a dismissal be fair in the absence of any procedure or right of appeal, when there is a personality clash between two senior members of staff resulting in an irreparable relationship? Yes, says the EAT in Gallacher v Abellio Scotrail Limited available here. Facts:   Mrs Gallacher, the employee, was a senior manager at…
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Case update (3): Unfair dismissal – Anonymous witnesses

Summary:  Is it unfair for an employer to dismiss an employee based on the evidence of an anonymous witness? Not necessarily, says the EAT in Tai Tarian Ltd v Christie, available here. Background:  During the investigation stage of employers’ internal procedures there maybe witnesses who wish to remain anonymous. To rely on such evidence, the…
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Case update (2):  Unfair dismissal – What work counts for Continuous Service?

reading employment contract
Summary:  Does ‘unofficial’ work prior to formal start date count towards a period of continuous employment? No, says the EAT in R O’Sullivan v. DSM Demolition Ltd, available here. Background:  Employees have the right under the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA) not to be unfairly dismissed, provided they have been continuously employed for a period…
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Case update (3):  Redundancy – Careful of selection by interview

waiting for interview
Summary:  Can an employer reasonably rely on just an interview process when considering redundant employees for ‘alternative employment’ which is essentially the same as their current role? No, says the EAT in Gwynedd Council v Barrett, available here. Facts:  The employer, Gwynedd Council, decided to implement a reorganisation of the schools in the local area.…
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Case update (1): Unfair dismissal – is it the last straw?

dismissal
Summary: If an employee resigns in response to a trivial act (which they consider the ‘last straw’) is previous conduct by an employer still relevant when deciding whether the employee has been (constructively) unfairly dismissed? Yes, held the EAT in Williams v Alderman Davies Church in Wales Primary School (available here). Background:   In order to…
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Case update (2):  When investigation meetings are (not) necessary

investigations
Summary:  Is there a legal requirement to hold a separate investigation meeting before a disciplinary meeting in order for a dismissal to be fair? No says the EAT in Sunshine Hotel Ltd t/a Palm Court Hotel v Goddard, available here.  The requirement is to carry out such investigation as is reasonable in all the circumstances.…
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Case update (3):  Unfair dismissal – Who’s in the know?

dismissed
Summary:  Is the knowledge of a person other than the dismissing manager, relevant to the fairness of a dismissal? Yes, says the EAT in Uddin v London Borough of Ealing, available here. Background:  The Supreme Court in Royal Mail v Jhuti (see our update here) held that where the reason for a dismissal given in…
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Case update (3):  Unfair Dismissal – Disclosure of Salary Details

dismissed
Summary:  Was it gross misconduct to discuss the salary of a senior employee? No, says the EAT in Jagex Ltd v McCambridge available here. Facts:  Mr McCambridge, the employee, was employed by Jagex Ltd, the employer.  Mr McCambridge found a visa application for a very senior employee that had been left on a communal printer…
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Case update (3): Discrimination – Beware False Reasons for Dismissal 

dismissed
Summary:  If an employer lies (albeit in good faith) about the reason for dismissal, is that enough to shift the burden of proof in a discrimination case? Yes, says the Court of Appeal in Base Childrenswear Ltd v Otshudi available here. Facts:  The employee, Ms Otshudi, worked at Base Childrenswear Ltd, the employer. The employee…
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