If you would like to discuss any employment issues please contact Julie Taylor on 01635 508181
The Employment Appeals Tribunal has upheld the decision that a dismissal for redundancy was unfair where the selection pool consisted of just one employee.
In this case, the employee was one of four doing a similar type of work, but for separate clients. Her particular client based had reduced, whereas the other three’s had remained the same, so the employer only included her in the selection pool and then made her redundant. Her unfair dismissal claim was upheld.
Previously, employers have been free to choose the appropriate selection pool from which to make redundancies. Technically there is no legal requirement to limit the pool only to those employees doing the same time of work and the tribunal would usually have been satisfied as long as the employer has genuinely applied its mind to consider who should be included in the selection pool.
HOWEVER, this decision shows that employers should be especially careful when the pool identified consists of just one employee as the reduced value of the subsequent consultation process will be taken into account and an successful unfair dismissal claim could follow.
Employers will need to take care when choosing the appropriate selection pool from which to make redundancies and ensure that a full and fair consultation takes place. We would encourage employers to take specific legal advice to minimise the risk of unfair dismissal claims in redundancy situations.
The Court of Appeal has ruled on two cases which considered whether an employer should be liable for an assault carried out by an employee on a fellow worker in response to lawful instructions.
IN the first, the employer was found vicariously liable where the employee was undertaking a task central to his employment and reacted violently to attack his manager there and then.
In the second, the employer was not vicariously liable where the employee, who was telephoned at home and asked to work an extra shift, cycled to work drunk and attacked his manager.
These decisions demonstrate that an employer will be responsible for the actions of their employees where such actions are carried out in the course of their employment. In other words, there needs to be a sufficiently close connection between the act and the employment.
Employers should at least always:
The Court of Appeal has reminded employers of the importance of carrying out a fair procedure and considering all the issues before dismissing staff for misconduct, especially where the employee’s future career is at risk. The case also considered the issues with regard to suspending an employee where there were allegations and reiterated that suspension must not be used as a punishment or issued as a knee-jerk reaction to an allegation.
The decision highlights that any dismissal for misconduct will only be fair if:
(a) the employer has carried out a reasonable investigation into the alleged misconduct;
(b) the employer believes, at the time of dismissal, that the employee is guilty of the misconduct alleged;
(c) there were reasonable grounds for the employer having such a belief; and
(d) dismissal was a reasonable response in all the circumstances.
Dismissing employees can cause a variety of issues and create significant risks of claims and therefore employers should always take specific legal advice before dismissing an employee whatever the reason.
Please note that these comments are intended to summarise some of the employment issues of the moment, not to provide detailed legal advice, so if you need assistance with any employment issues you may have please contact Julie Taylor on: 01635 508181
Follow Julie on Twitter: @JulieT_GL