RB wins important case for employers on curing an unfair dismissal

Published: 21 Aug 2015

Rawlison Butler's top rated employment team has won an important case at the Employment Appeal Tribunal that will help employers turn an otherwise unfair dismissal into a fair dismissal.

The case, which was heard at the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) in June this year, involved a claimant who was dismissed for unacceptable behaviour towards a colleague recently promoted to a manager in the same department. Reasons for dismissal included allegations that the claimant had placed an offensive screensaver on the manager's computer.

The claimant was dismissed and took out a claim in the Employment Tribunal (ET) for unfair and wrongful dismissal. The ET found that procedural failings in the process leading to dismissal rendered the dismissal unfair.

At this stage, Tony Hyams-Parish, Partner and Head of the Employment Team at Rawlison Butler, was instructed to consider grounds of appeal to the EAT. The main ground of appeal taken at the EAT was that the Employment Judge had failed to take into account the fact that the procedural deficiencies had arguably been cured on appeal and that in determining whether a dismissal was fair or unfair, the whole process (including any appeal process) must be considered.

The EAT agreed and has remitted the case back to the ET to be heard again before a fresh tribunal.

Commenting on the case, Tony Hyams-Parish said "This was absolutely the right decision by the EAT. The claimant suffered no disadvantage as a result of the defects in the process leading to dismissal because she took up the opportunity to appeal. The appeal process corrected all of the deficiencies in the dismissal process. It is an important decision and provides our clients with a way to avoid an otherwise successful ET claim."

If you would like more information on this case or you would like to discuss an employment issue affecting your business, please contact Tony Hyams-Parish on 01293 558544 or email him at ahyamsparish@rawlisonbutler.com

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