Greater Glasgow Health Board v Mullen [2023] EAT 122

Appeal against a finding that the Claimant had been unfairly dismissed. Appeal allowed and the decision set aside.

The Claimant was dismissed for gross misconduct after an allegation that he had shouted at and threatened another employee was established. His appeal against his dismissal was dismissed and he took his claim of unfair dismissal to the ET. The ET began by considering what was the reason for the dismissal. It found that this was a genuinely held belief by the Respondent that the Claimant was guilty of the particular misconduct alleged. The ET considered that the Respondent had reasonable grounds for concluding that the misconduct had occurred having carried out such investigation as was reasonable in the circumstances. However, the ET concluded that procedural deficiencies had such impact that they rendered the whole process unfair and that the Respondent did not act reasonably in dismissing the Claimant. The Respondent appealed.

The EAT allowed the appeal. It was not open to the ET, having made their previous findings, then to base its conclusion about the fairness of the dismissal in terms of section 98(4) of the ERA on a factual hypothesis that the “real reason” for the dismissal was (or may have been) something different to the established reason. On the findings in fact made by it, the only conclusion to which the ET could properly have come was that dismissal was within the range of reasonable responses open to the employer and was fair.

Published: 06/10/2023 10:21

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