Moore v Phoenix Product Development Ltd (UNFAIR DISMISSAL) [2021] UKEAT 0070/20/2005

Appeal against the ET's decision that the Claimant had not been unfairly dismissed. Appeal dismissed.

The Claimant is the inventor of a water-efficient toilet, called the “Propelair Toilet”, which is manufactured and marketed by the Respondent of which he was a founder. The Claimant was the Chief Executive Officer of the Respondent from 2001 until 2017, when he was replaced by a Mr Dylan Jones. The Claimant had difficulty in accepting that the Respondent was no longer his company and that he was not in charge of it, although he remained an employee and a director. Following a series of incidents, the remaining members of the Board lost confidence in the Claimant’s ability to change his ways, and he was dismissed without being offered a right of appeal. The Claimant claimed that the dismissal was procedurally and substantively unfair. The Tribunal rejected his claim, finding that he was dismissed for SOSR in that there was an irreparable breakdown in relations and that the dismissal was not unfair. The Claimant appealed on six grounds including that the Tribunal had failed to address the specific allegations of unfairness levelled against the Respondent.

The EAT dismissed the appeal. The ET had considered the principal allegations as to unfairness and was not required to deal with every evidential point raised. The ET was entitled to conclude, in the circumstances of this case, that an appeal would have been futile. Although an appeal will normally be part of a fair procedure, that will not invariably be so, as to take that fixed approach would be to disregard the clear terms of s98(4) of the Employment Rights Act 1996, which dictate that the circumstances are to be taken into account.

Published: 20/08/2021 09:19

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