London Borough Of Hammersmith And Fulham v Keable EA-2019-000733-DA; EA-2020-000129-DA

Appeal against an ET decision that the Claimant had been unfairly dismissed. Appeal dismissed.

The Claimant was dismissed for serious misconduct arising out of comments he made in a conversation with another individual when they each attended different rallies outside Parliament. Footage of the event was widely shared on social media and one of the Respondent’s Councillors identified the Claimant as a Council employee and invited the Respondent to take action. Following disciplinary proceedings, the Claimant was dismissed. The Judge hearing the claim determined that the dismissal was both procedurally and substantively unfair. She made an order for reinstatement. The Respondent appealed.

The EAT dismissed the appeal. The Judge was entitled to conclude that the dismissal was unfair. She concluded that there were relevant and significant errors in the procedure adopted by the Council employer, including the fact that the Claimant was not informed of the specific allegation which led to his dismissal and the fact that the possibility of a lesser sanction, a warning, was not discussed with him. In reaching her conclusions the Judge did not substitute her own views for that of the employer. Whilst the Judge should have raised a relevant authority with the parties, on the facts of this case, that did not vitiate the decision, Stanley Cole (Wainfleet) Ltd v Sheridan applied. As to remedy, on the evidence before her, the Judge was entitled to conclude that reinstatement was practicable and to make the order she did.

Published: 27/10/2021 16:24