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Employment Appeal Tribunal - unfair dismissal

Dismissal not unfair where employer took account of previous incidents that had not been subject to disciplinary action

The EAT has overturned an employment tribunal's decision that a disciplinary investigation into an allegation of gross misconduct should not have included details of previous similar incidents involving the employee, which had been addressed through training rather than disciplinary action.

Since the tribunal had gone on to find that the decision to dismiss, which had taken these previous incidents into account, was within the range of reasonable responses, it had been perverse of it to find that the dismissal was nonetheless procedurally unfair because the investigation had been, in effect, too thorough.

This was not, in the EAT's view, the same as basing a dismissal on an expired warning, since the expiry creates an expectation that the previous incident will not form the basis of a decision to dismiss, whereas in this case no expectation either way had been created following the earlier incidents.

(NHS 24 v Pillar UKEATS/0005/16.)

This article incorporates material originally published on Practical Law's website on 5 October 2017 and is reproduced with the permission of Thomson Reuters.

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