Unfair Dismissal

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.

Refusal to postpone disciplinary hearing may make a dismissal unfair

A refusal to postpone a disciplinary because of the unavailability of the worker’s chosen companion may make a dismissal unfair.

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.

Employer pension contributions and a 'week's pay'

Contrary to long-established practice, employer pension contributions do count towards the calculation of a ‘week’s pay’ says the EAT.

Fair dismissal for derogatory Facebook post

The dismissal of a long-serving employee following derogatory comments about her employer on Facebook was fair.

Procedural failing in dismissal process didn't make dismissal unfair

Elmore v The Governors of Darland High School


Neither a failure to explain why an employee’s appeal had been rejected nor a failure to call witness evidence of the appeal at the tribunal hearing made an employee’s dismissal unfair.

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