Unfair Dismissal

Dismissal for breach of anti-corruption policy

The dismissal of an employee was fair because he’d acted in ‘wilful disregard’ of an anti-corruption policy, even though he’d not deliberately intended to breach the policy and had no corrupt intent.

Asserting breach of a statutory right: when does the claim crystalise?

An employee can bring a claim for automatic unfair dismissal if they are instructed to infringe their statutory rights, even if the infringement has not actually occurred.

Reasonableness of warnings

A tribunal did not need to ‘look behind’ a final written warning to consider its fairness.

Privilege and unfair dismissal

An email between an employer and its HR consultant was protected by litigation privilege despite indicating a pre-determined decision to dismiss.

Dismissal, lack of appeal and fairness

Where a dismissal is because of an irretrievable breakdown in the employer/employee relationship, the failure to offer/carry out an appeal post-dismissal will not always render a dismissal unfair.

Dismissal and medical evidence

Up to date medical evidence is vital when defending the fairness of an ill-health capability dismissal, although only if it’s obtained before a dismissal.

Criminal offences and unfair dismissal

An employee was fairly dismissed for some other substantial reason when he was charged with a criminal offence but never prosecuted.

COVID-19: dismissal of employee stuck abroad

The dismissal of an employee who remained abroad at the start of the pandemic was automatically unfair on health and safety grounds.

Constructive dismissal and harassment

Departing from previous authority, the EAT has held that a constructive dismissal can amount to harassment under the Equality Act.

COVID-19: appropriate steps in the face of serious and imminent danger

The dismissal of an employee who’d expressed concerns about commuting during COVID-19 and who asked to be furloughed was not automatically unfair.

COVID-19: unfair health and safety-related dismissal

An employee was unfairly dismissed for raising health and safety issues about lack of PPE and other workplace COVID-secure measures.

Constructive dismissal and incorporated terms

An incorporated collectively agreed term was not apt for incorporation into an individual employment contract so as to enable an employee to rely on a breach of it as giving rise to a constructive dismissal claim.

Constructive dismissal: employer tries to make amends

Where the actions of an employer amount to a fundamental breach of contract, nothing that the employer does after that point can cure that breach.

Automatically unfair health and safety dismissals

An employee dismissed because of the friction caused in the workplace by the way he’d instituted a new health and safety regime had been automatically unfairly dismissed.

Re-engagement, loss of trust and confidence and capability dismissals

An employer’s genuine and rational lack of belief in an employee’s capability can render it not practicable for the employee to be re-engaged following an unfair dismissal.

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.

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.

  • Page 1 of 3