Brown v Veolia Es (UK) Ltd (Unfair dismissal)  UKEAT 0041_20_0607
Appeal against the dismissal of a claim for unfair dismissal and against the percentage uplift awarded relating to the damages for wrongful dismissal. Appeal allowed on both issues.
The Claimant made claims to the ET of unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal and as to remedy sought uplift pursuant to s.207A TULRCA for alleged breaches of the ACAS Code of Practice. The ET dismissed the claim of unfair dismissal, holding that her dismissal was related to conduct; and that the dismissing officer had reasonable grounds for his conclusion. As to fairness and s98(4), the ET concluded that the investigatory and disciplinary process was a ‘catalogue of ineptitude and misjudgement’ but held that it was ‘just persuaded’ that the process fell within a reasonable band. On the s207A claim, the ET awarded an uplift of 5% on the award of damages for wrongful dismissal. In doing so, it found that the Respondent had committed unreasonable breaches of the ACAS Code in respect of the disciplinary process but, in the light of its finding that the dismissal was fair, concluded that it would not be just and equitable to take these into account when considering an uplift to the damages for wrongful dismissal. An uplift of 5% was awarded, based upon a breach of the ACAS Code falling outside the disciplinary process. The Claimant appealed both decisions.
The EAT allowed the appeal. On the unfair dismissal issue, the ET’s decision as it related to the reasonableness of the investigatory and disciplinary process was perverse. The EAT also allowed the appeal on the s207A uplift, holding that the ET was wrong to disregard the breaches of the Code in respect of the disciplinary process because of the failure of the claim for unfair dismissal. Both issues were remitted for reconsideration by the ET.
Published: 22/07/2021 16:33