Secure Care UK Ltd v Mott EA-2019-000977-AT

Appeal against a ruling that the Claimant had been unfairly dismissed by reason of making protected disclosures. Appeal allowed.

The Claimant was made redundant along with 2 other members of staff. He brought a claim of unfair dismissal, alleging that his redundancy was because he had made a series of protected disclosures. The ET upheld his claim, saying that, having considered the chronology of events and the communications between the parties, the fact that the Claimant had made protected disclosures had a material influence upon his selection for redundancy and eventual dismissal. The Respondent appealed.

The EAT allowed the appeal. The issue was whether the ET directed itself in accordance with the sole or principal reason test and applied it to the facts it had found. The EAT said that the ET had erred in two respects. Firstly, in applying the wrong causation test, namely the 'materially influences' test applicable to section 47B claims for detriment by reason of making a protected disclosure (see Fecitt v NHS Manchester [2012] ICR 372), rather than the sole / principal reason test required by the terms of section 103A. Secondly, in failing to distinguish the impact of the three protected disclosures, from the impact of all nine of the Claimant's communications about staffing levels, when considering the reason for the dismissal.

Published: 22/10/2021 09:44