Berkeley Catering Ltd v Jackson UKEAT/0074/20/LA

Appeal against the ET’s decision that the Claimant was unfairly dismissed. Appeal allowed in part.

The Claimant was Managing Director of the Respondent company, and the company's owner indicated that he was taking control of management decision-making and operation, with the title of CEO; consequently, the Claimant was made redundant and, although she asked about an appeal, none was arranged. The Claimant issued a claim for unfair dismissal and, in response, the Respondent identified the reason for dismissal as redundancy or some other substantial reason ("SOSR") consisting of a business reorganisation. The ET ruled, as a matter of law and fact, that there was no redundancy and no business reorganisation constituting SOSR; and the Respondent appealed against both parts of the ruling.

The EAT held that, in relation to redundancy, the ET had erred by eliding matters relevant to the question of whether there was a redundancy situation, and matters relevant to the potential further question of whether redundancy was the reason for dismissal, and perhaps the question of whether the employer had acted reasonably; accordingly, the ruling that there was no redundancy could not be upheld, and the issue would be remitted to a fresh ET to decide a number of specific questions identified by the EAT. In relation to the alleged business reorganisation, the EAT held that the ET had correctly found that the Respondent dismissed the Claimant for personal reasons and not because that dismissal was necessitated by a business reorganisation, whether or not the changes which took place amounted to a business reorganisation.

Published: 06/01/2021 11:38

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