Unfair Dismissal

Dismissal for proselytising religious views was fair

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.

Asserting a statutory right and automatic unfair dismissal

Protection from dismissal for asserting a statutory right only applies where the employee alleged an actual breach of statute, not a threatened one.

'Conduct' dismissal for failure to meet expectations of the job

A ‘conduct’ dismissal can encompass serious neglect, omission or carelessness - here a failure to meet the role’s requirements.

Dismissal for failing drug test was unfair

The dismissal for gross misconduct of a long-serving employee for failing a routine drug test was unfair.

Capability dismissal and long-term disability

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.

Withholding evidence from disciplinary hearings

There was no unfairness when an employer withheld certain evidence from a disciplinary hearing that ultimately led to an employee’s dismissal.

Dismissal of military reservist was fair

A volunteer reservist was fairly dismissed for committing to a seven-week training exercise without obtaining his employer’s approval.

Long-term sickness absence and failure to consider part-time working

An employer seeking to justify its discriminatory dismissal of an employee on long-term sick leave should have considered part-time working.

Effect of a successful appeal on the employment contract

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.

Evidence of right to work could have been established during appeal process

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.

Summary dismissal but no single act of gross misconduct

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.

Affirmation of contract and 'last straw' constructive dismissal

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.

Failure to disclose relationship outside work justified dismissal

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.

Non-renewal of fixed-term contracts and unfair dismissal

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.

Effective date of termination and summary dismissal

A clear communication that a contract has ended determines the effective date of termination - it’s not something that the parties can simply agree.

Protected conversations and the date of dismissal

A tribunal can hear evidence about protected conversations if the actual date of termination is disputed.

Protected conversations and 'without prejudice'

An employer cannot pick and choose when the ‘without prejudice’ rule applies to selectively use information gained during a protected conversation to its advantage in subsequent tribunal proceedings.

Immigration Act and unfair dismissal

An employer could not claim ‘illegality’ as a fair reason to dismiss an employee when the employee failed to provide right-to work documentation.

Can an investigation be too thorough?

Including incidents in an investigatory report - which didn’t result in any disciplinary action – didn’t make the subsequent dismissal unfair.

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