In upholding a tribunal’s decision to dismiss all an employee’s claims, the Court of Appeal provide useful guidance on fair conduct procedures and rescuing appeals.
An employee was automatically unfairly dismissed because of his union activities even though neither the manager conducting the disciplinary hearing nor the manager who dismissed the appeal were motivated by prejudice against the employee because of his union activities.
Changes to an investigator’s report into potential misconduct, made at the suggestion of an in-house lawyer, did not render an employee’s subsequent dismissal unfair
The dismissal of a nurse who gave a patient a Bible and proselytised (tried to convert people to another religion) her religious views was fair and did not breach European law.
Protection from dismissal for asserting a statutory right only applies where the employee alleged an actual breach of statute, not a threatened one.
A ‘conduct’ dismissal can encompass serious neglect, omission or carelessness - here a failure to meet the role’s requirements.
The dismissal for gross misconduct of a long-serving employee for failing a routine drug test was unfair.
Where an employee had been dismissed on the ground of medical incapacity while his contractual entitlement to long-term disability benefits was ongoing, it was appropriate to imply a term into his employment contract to restrict the employer’s contractual power to dismiss.
There was no unfairness when an employer withheld certain evidence from a disciplinary hearing that ultimately led to an employee’s dismissal.
A volunteer reservist was fairly dismissed for committing to a seven-week training exercise without obtaining his employer’s approval.
A refusal to postpone a disciplinary because of the unavailability of the worker’s chosen companion may make a dismissal unfair.
An employer seeking to justify its discriminatory dismissal of an employee on long-term sick leave should have considered part-time working.
Where a contract of employment provided for a disciplinary process and a right of appeal against dismissal, it was implicit that a successful appeal would, without more, revive the employment relationship and extinguish the dismissal.
Where an employee was dismissed because the employer had a reasonable belief that they were not entitled to work in the UK, the employer should offer an appeal to allow the employee the chance to prove that at all relevant times they in fact had the right to work in the UK.
The summary dismissal of an employee for a series of misconduct issues was fair (although possibly wrongful), even though no single act amounted to gross misconduct and he had an unblemished disciplinary record.
The ‘last straw’ doctrine in constructive dismissal cases allows a claimant to rely on the totality of an employer’s acts, even though earlier breaches by the employer may have been affirmed, so long as the final act forms part of a series.
A school was entitled to summarily dismiss a head teacher for her failure to disclose a personal relationship with a sex offender outside of work.
Simply complying with the non-discrimination regime of the Fixed-term Employees Regulations doesn’t make a dismissal at the end of a fixed term contract fair.
A clear communication that a contract has ended determines the effective date of termination - it’s not something that the parties can simply agree.
A tribunal can hear evidence about protected conversations if the actual date of termination is disputed.
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