Pubbi v [2022] EAT 96

Appeal against a finding that the Claimant had been fairly dismissed. Appeal dismissed.

The Claimant was employed as a financial consultant with an estate agency which also arranges mortgages and offers various insurance products. Another company called First Complete Limited, also known as PRIMIS Mortgage Network, has a relationship with the Respondent as an appointed representative, under which it sets terms for the work that it will permit the Respondent’s advisors, working as its representative, to carry out. Following a period of absence through sickness and an appraisal about which the Claimant was dissatisfied, the Claimant applied for bankruptcy which was granted. He did not tell the Respondent of the bankruptcy. When the Respondent learnt of the Claimant's bankruptcy, his authorization with the company First Complete Limited was terminated with immediate effect and as a result he could no longer hold himself out as an Adviser. The Respondent confirmed that they would not consider the Claimant to be a ‘fit and proper person’ if he had been found to have entered into a bankruptcy order. It was also found to be relevant that he had failed to disclose this first to the Respondent and to the Network as this had "implications regarding his honesty and integrity." It was also said that his failure to disclose contravened section 2.1 of the FCA Handbook. The Claimant lost his claim of unfair dismissal at the ET. There was no express term of his contract, nor any policy or regulatory requirement that applied to him, that specifically required him to disclose a bankruptcy. However, the ET found that the Respondent dismissed him because it nevertheless believed that, in all the circumstances, he knew, or should have appreciated, that it would regard his bankruptcy as a serious matter, and would have expected him to disclose it, and that he had deliberately not done so. The Claimant appealed.

The EAT dismissed the appeal. The ET found that the Respondent was entitled to view this conduct as warranting dismissal, and that the overall disciplinary and appeal process was fair. It did not err in finding this to have been a fair dismissal.

Published: 15/07/2022 09:39

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