Singh v Glass Express Midlands Limited UKEAT/0071/18/DM

Appeal against nil basic and compensatory awards by the ET which held that, although the Claimant’s dismissal was procedurally unfair, a fair process would have made no difference, any award should be reduced by reason of the Claimant’s conduct, and the Claimant had not mitigated his loss. Appeal allowed in part and remitted to same ET.

An altercation between the Claimant and the Respondent's Managing Director led to the Claimant's dismissal. The ET found that the Claimant had contributed to his dismissal by his conduct, and assessed his contribution at 100%. As regards the compensatory award, the ET moved from a finding that summary dismissal was "an appropriate course of action" to its conclusion that "no reasonable employer could have tolerated" the Claimant's conduct, wrongly assuming that dismissal was inevitable. The ET concluded that the Claimant had not taken reasonable steps to mitigate his loss.

The EAT allowed the appeal in part. The ET should have considered separately whether it was just and equitable to reduce the Claimant's compensatory award for unfair dismissal to nil, and failed to approach the Polkey reduction correctly. On the question of mitigation, the ET had not clearly demonstrated that the burden of proof remains on the Respondent.

Published: 19/12/2018 16:19

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