Case law updates

Tribunal rulings come down hard on procedural failings

Over the past few months a number of EAT rulings have highlighted the part procedural faults can play in successful Tribunal Claims.

* The case of a flexi-worker dismissed for “aggressive and threatening behaviour” needs to be reheard as the EAT said that the Tribunal had failed to properly assess whether the dismissal had been unfair in the light of allegations that other employees accused of more serious misdeeds – including punching another colleague – still worked for the company.

* Two repair contractors who were dismissed for gross misconduct after they were discovered to have used company vehicles for personal purposes, were unfairly dismissed a Tribunal has ruled. While the pair were at fault for misusing the vans, the tribunal found their employer failed to thoroughly investigate the issue before dismissing them.

* An employee of a motorcycle manufacturer who was fired after she called one of her colleagues a ‘knob head’ in a workplace email was unfairly dismissed, the EAT has ruled. In upholding the Tribunal decision – described at the time as “unfair procedurally and fatally flawed” – the EAT agreed that the dismissal was unreasonable because of the employer’s refusal to postpone the disciplinary hearing for a second time so that a particular union representative could attend.