Playing Doctor

A former prison officer has lost her case alleging unfair dismissal after being dismissed for what the employer alleged was gross misconduct. I am not sure, based on the judgement, that that is the right decision given the centrality of the first disciplinary allegation to the dismissal, the uncertainty on my reading of the real … Continue reading Playing Doctor

Pissing in the wind

A relatively recent Employment Appeal Tribunal decision (Asda v Raymond) considers whether in order to conduct a reasonable investigation an employer should not only investigate what happened but also whether there are underlying causes for the conduct (why they happened). The claimant in the case was a lorry driver and parked his lorry in a … Continue reading Pissing in the wind

Choice of Decision Maker made Dismissal Unfair

I referred to the case of Thomson v Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust about a week ago in respect of disability related misconduct dismissals. The case has been more widely reported in respect of its unfair dismissal findings, however. The ACAS Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures, which is intended to provide "basic … Continue reading Choice of Decision Maker made Dismissal Unfair

Cross Examining Witnesses in Disciplinary Hearings

In an Employment Tribunal hearing the cross examination of witnesses represents the majority of a disciplinary hearing. By contrast in a misconduct hearing of an employee the overwhelming majority of hearings will feature no cross examination of witnesses at all. As was set out in R (Bonhoeffer) v General Medical Council in certain circumstances the … Continue reading Cross Examining Witnesses in Disciplinary Hearings

Unfair Dismissal and the Myth of Red Tape

The Lancashire Telegraph is running a story on the unfair dismissal ruling of a former employee of Moorlands School in Clitheroe, Lancashire. Along with two other members of school staff of Moorlands School, a private boarding school in Lancashire, the claimant was supervising a school trip at which a number of pupils got drunk. Depending … Continue reading Unfair Dismissal and the Myth of Red Tape

Brito-Babapulle, Mark II

Back in 2013 the EAT issued the the important decision in Brito-babapulle v Ealing Hospital NHS Trust [2013] UKEAT 0358_12_1406 which that found that the Employment Tribunal's finding that "[o]nce gross misconduct is found, dismissal must always fall within the range of reasonable responses" was an error of law. Specifically, "the Tribunal misdirected itself as … Continue reading Brito-Babapulle, Mark II

Dismissal and Culpability

The central case dealing with the fairness of conduct dismissals is undoubtedly British Home Stores Ltd v Burchell [1978] UKEAT 108_78_2007. It was this case that is the source of the "Burchell Test", here it is in the judgement itself: What the tribunal has to decide every time is, broadly expressed, whether the employer who … Continue reading Dismissal and Culpability