Unfair Dismissal

February 2021 inflation data

The UK’s main inflation measure in February 2021 was 0.4%.

NMW: retention of records

The period for which employers, liable to pay the National Minimum Wage (NMW), must retain records has been doubled.

Shielding: updated advice for clinically vulnerable

Public Health England has updated its shielding advice for the nearly four million people who’ve been categorised as extremely clinically vulnerable.

COVID-19 testing and data protection

We look at some of the data protection issues around testing employees at work for COVID-19.

Fair dismissal for refusal to wear a face mask

A lorry driver was fairly dismissed for refusing to wear a face mask while on a client’s premises but still in his cab.

Re-engagement and loss of trust and confidence

A breakdown in trust and confidence is relevant to the practicability of re-engagement, even if the dismissal was for capability and not for misconduct.

Dismissal and internal appeals

If an internal appeal against dismissal overturns the dismissal, then in law it’s as if there was no dismissal – even if the employee makes it clear when appealing that they have no intention of returning to their job whatever the outcome of the appeal.

Dismissal and absence of procedure

Where there has been an irretrievable breakdown in a working relationship, a complete lack of any procedure may not render a subsequent dismissal unfair.

Witness anonymity and unfair dismissal

A dismissal based on anonymous witness evidence will not necessarily be unfair, even where that witness declines to participate in the disciplinary process.

Continuous employment: working before start date

Work carried out before a formally agreed start date may not count for continuity of employment purposes.

Constructive dismissal and the 'last straw'

Just because a last straw was not actually a last straw did not mean that a constructive unfair dismissal claim could not proceed.

Automatic unfair dismissal: designation to perform health and safety functions

For an employee to have been ‘designated’ by their employer to carry out health and safety activities, he or she must have been selected by the employer to carry out specific activities in connection with preventing or reducing risks to health and safety at work, over and above their ordinary job duties.

Attribution of knowledge: relevance to fairness of dismissal

In an unfair dismissal case, an investigator’s failure to share a material fact with the dismissing officer could be relevant when assessing whether the employer had acted reasonably in dismissing.

Pending criminal changes and dismissal

An employee charged with a criminal offence was fairly dismissed due to the risk to the employer’s reputation.

Unfair dismissal and investigations

A separate investigatory hearing and disciplinary hearing is not required in every case by right.

Constructive dismissal: procedural fairness during investigation

An employer’s unreasonable disciplinary investigation breached the implied term of trust and confidence which entitled the employee to resign and successfully claim unfair constructive dismissal.

Adequacy of investigation and appeal procedure

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.

Investigating manager's anti-union motivation could be attributed to employer

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 investigation report did not make dismissal unfair

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

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