Royal Surrey County NHS Foundation Trust v Drzymala UKEAT/0063/17/BA

Appeal against a finding of unfair dismissal after the Claimant's series of fixed term contracts were not renewed. Appeal dismissed.

This appeal was about a doctor who was employed on a series of fixed-term contracts. Eventually, her contract was not renewed. Her locum post was made permanent and she was an unsuccessful candidate in a competitive appointment procedure for the permanent post. She won her claim for unfair dismissal. The Tribunal found, uncontroversially, that the reason for the dismissal was a potentially fair reason, namely that the Claimant's locum contract had come to an end. They rejected the Claimant's proposition that she had some sort of legitimate expectation of being preferred to the successful candidate for the permanent post. However, the Tribunal clearly did not accept the Respondent's contention that there were no relevant roles available at that time and the Respondent did not offer her the right to appeal against her dismissal until after her employment had ended. Denying the Claimant a timely right of appeal, which the Respondent ultimately accepted the Claimant was entitled to, in circumstances when the respondent had other employment opportunities available for the claimant was in the ET's view unfair. The Respondent appealed.

The EAT dismissed the appeal. The Tribunal did not err in law either by substituting its own view for that of the employer on the issue of fairness, nor by placing too high a burden on the employer when deciding that it should have offered to discuss possible alternative employment with the employee; nor by misunderstanding the Respondent's submissions; nor by acting perversely when deciding that the employer had dismissed the employee unfairly.

Published: 16/01/2018 15:07

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