Mirab v Mentor Graphics (UK) Ltd UKEAT/0172/17/DA

Appeal against a finding that the Claimant had been fairly dismissed by reason of redundancy. Appeal allowed in part.

The Claimant was dismissed after the Respondent determined that his role of Sales Director was no longer needed. In determining whether the dismissal had been fair, the ET had concluded the Respondent had done sufficient in terms of looking for alternatives, specifically it had not been required to consider "bumping" any other employee working at a subordinate Account Manager level (there were no other Sales Directors) because such an obligation only arose if the employee himself raised it and the Claimant had given no sign that he would have been willing to work as an Account Manager. The ET also accepted that the internal appeal had been "superficial" and carried out without independent judgment but considered the appeal was only relevant to an unfair dismissal claim if the original process had been unfair; that was not the case here. The Claimant appealed.

The EAT allowed the appeal in part. The ET had erred in its approach to the consideration of alternatives. It had assumed there was a general rule that an employer was not required to consider subordinate positions unless raised by the employee but that was not what the case-law said and the ET had failed to show that it had applied the band of reasonable responses test in this regard. The ET had further erred in law in its approach to fairness in respect of the internal appeal. It was wrong to say (as it had) that the appeal was only relevant if the original process had been found to have been unfair.


Published: 13/03/2018 10:58