Ham v The Governing Body of Beardwood Humanities College [2017] EWCA Civ 1629

Appeal against an EAT decision that rejected the Claimant's appeal against a remitted ET decision that ruled that she had been fairly dismissed. Appeal dismissed.

The Claimant was dismissed for misconduct and she won her claim of unfair dismissal at the ET, being awarded the highest compensatory award avilable at that time. The Respondent's appeal to the EAT was allowed, the case was remitted to the ET and the Claimant was found to have been fairly dismissed. Her appeal against this remitted decision was dismissed by the EAT and she appealed to the Court of Appeal. The Claimant argued that the ET had erred in law by concluding at the remitted hearing that the decision to dismiss was in the range of reasonable responses "given its findings at paragraphs 5 and 6 of the remedy judgment to the effect that had the Claimant been made aware of the likely consequences of her actions or warned then she would not have been dismissed". The Claimant also submitted that in refusing to make any reduction for contributory conduct the ET were expressing the opinion that none of the acts of alleged misconduct by the Claimant had been serious enough to warrant dismissal nor even to have contributed to the dismissal. Further, she argued that the ET's finding that with any appropriate warnings or performance management procedures in place the Claimant (had she not been unfairly dismissed) would have remained in post until the closure of the College demonstrated that in the ET's opinion the Claimant would have engaged with such processes, which reinforced the unreasonableness of dismissal as a sanction.

The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal saying that there were no grounds on which to set aside the decision of the ET at the remitted hearing, however reluctant, that "the decision to dismiss the claimant was within the range of reasonable responses albeit in our judgment at the extreme end of that range".

Published: 23/10/2017 17:26

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