The Right to Accompaniment and Unfair Dismissal

I have discussed the right of accompaniment on this blog before in the context of the worker's right under section 10 of the Employment Relations Act 1999. One component of that right is an explicit right that if a worker's chosen companion at a formal grievance of disciplinary meeting is unavailable then the worker can … Continue reading The Right to Accompaniment and Unfair Dismissal

Salmond, Natural Justice, and Unfair Employer Misconduct Investigations

If you are a trade union representative one of the go to arguments you will often employ is that the employer is acting contrary to natural justice. Natural Justice can be summarised as comprising of two components:  That a person accused of wrongdoing will be told what exactly they are accused of, given the chance … Continue reading Salmond, Natural Justice, and Unfair Employer Misconduct Investigations

Discriminatory Dismissals and the Band of Reasonable Responses

In the 2017 case of O'Brien v Bolton St Catherine's Academy the Court of Appeal considered the question of whether the test of whether a discriminatory dismissal under section 15 of the Equality Act 2010 was necessarily an unfair dismissal. The key issue was whether the test as to whether a dismissal was "a proportionate … Continue reading Discriminatory Dismissals and the Band of Reasonable Responses

Broken Promises and (allegedly) Bullying Managers

I have spent Saturday morning, as every sane person does, skim reading historic EAT judgements, and in the process stumbled upon the decision in USDAW v Burns. USDAW v Burns is a 2014 unfair dismissal case, the background to which will be familiar fare to many trade union reps, notwithstanding that the Respondent in this … Continue reading Broken Promises and (allegedly) Bullying Managers

Unfair Dismissal because of Subject Access Request failure

The Data Protection Act 1998 allows any person to request a copy of the personal information an organisation holds on them, this includes a request from an employee to their employer. Making such a request is termed a 'subject access request'. Once an employer receives such a request they must - subject to a few … Continue reading Unfair Dismissal because of Subject Access Request failure

To Appeal or not to Appeal

When an employee is dismissed they face a decision whether they should appeal against their dismissal using internal appeal mechanisms or apply directly to an Employment Tribunal. Naturally, when an employee has been dismissed and the employee feels that decision is wrong they will frequently want to exercise their right to appeal against that decision. … Continue reading To Appeal or not to Appeal

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

Tribunal victory for Unite rep blacklisted by construction bosses ‘draws line in the sand’

Reposted from the Unite website: A Unite workplace rep, who was blacklisted by his employer Interserve Industrial Services because of his union activities while working at a power station at Runcorn, Cheshire, has won his employment tribunal (ET) case for unfair dismissal. Unite, the country’s largest union, hailed this as ‘a great victory which draws … Continue reading Tribunal victory for Unite rep blacklisted by construction bosses ‘draws line in the sand’

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

Unite Union, Labour, and Zero Hour Contracts

It is certainly not a new tactic: when a politic party makes a proposal with which the other parties are not too enamored they adopt a guilt by association posture. And so it was last week, fresh from the Labour Party launching its Business manifesto cracking down on zero hour contracts, the Tory cheerleaders at … Continue reading Unite Union, Labour, and Zero Hour Contracts

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

The Obligatory Top Gear Employment Law Post

This week the fate of Top Gear's Jeremy Clarkson should be decided. The background facts do not appear to be contested (although no-one external can know for sure): Clarkson got into some type of fracas in a canteen with a more junior colleague and hit him. I have not seen the BBC's disciplinary policy but … Continue reading The Obligatory Top Gear Employment Law Post

Affirming Gross Misconduct

At the beginning of the month I posted What Will the Papers Say?, a piece on the High Court' s decision in Williams v Leeds United Football Club [2015] EWHC 376 (QB). Briefly, the claimant, then a Director for Leeds Utd FC, had sent pornographic images using the football club's IT to three people: Dennis Wise, … Continue reading Affirming Gross Misconduct

What Will the Papers Say? Employment Law, Disrepute and the ‘Beautiful Game’

In recent mainstream media reports there has been a focus on the appalling racist chants of a group of a group of Chelsea fans; this story has an employment focus as at least one Chelsea fan, finance worker Josh Parsons, has now been suspended from his work in the aftermath of the incident. Time will … Continue reading What Will the Papers Say? Employment Law, Disrepute and the ‘Beautiful Game’

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

City Link Redundancies: An Unfair Dismissal?

The RMT Union has today reported on discussions it held today with the administrators of City Link, which on Christmas Day announced the redundancy of over 2,500 jobs with workers losing their jobs on New Years Eve, The union reports that at the meeting the union was told that: * the company were working with … Continue reading City Link Redundancies: An Unfair Dismissal?