JT Edwards Ltd v Seopane [2023] EAT 54

Appeal against various aspects of the remedy judgment after a successful claim of unfair dismissal. Appeal allowed in part.

The Claimant was found to have been unfairly dismissed after he was 'made redundant' when his request to be furloughed during the covid pandemic was refused. The ET awarded him compensation which included a compensatory award uplifted by 25% because of a failure to comply with a code of conduct. The compensatory award was calculated on the basis of his normal rate of pay, not the furlough pay he would have been paid if his request was allowed. Also, he was awarded one years' pay and an amount relating to the loss of his company car. The Respondent appealed various aspects of the total remedy awarded.

The EAT allowed the appeal in part. The ET was entitled to apply an uplift to the compensatory award of 25% and did not err in doing so. However, the ET’s analysis and conclusions were less clear in respect of other aspects of its decision on remedy. In particular, it failed to explain its conclusions regarding the appropriate level of pay upon which the compensatory award should be calculated (i.e., whether the calculation should be based on full pay or the furlough rate of pay). Further, the ET failed to set out clear conclusions about one issue in dispute: whether the Claimant would have been prevented from working due to eczema on his hands or, whether, as he asserted, that condition had only become acute after his dismissal and was a stress reaction to that event such that, had he not been unfairly dismissed, he would have been able to continue working. Finally, the ET erred in respect of its approach to the award of compensation for a company car, only raising this matter after conclusion of submissions and, further, failed to set out relevant conclusions about its award of compensation regarding that benefit. Those issues were remitted back to a freshly constituted ET.


Published: 01/06/2023 14:13

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