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Unfair dismissal: Employers must take care in framing disciplinary charges

This report relates to 1 case(s)

  • expand disabled

    Strouthos v London Underground Ltd [2004] IRLR 636 CA (0 other reports)

Key points

In Strouthos v London Underground Ltd1 the Court of Appeal holds:

  • The EAT was incorrect to infer an employee's dishonesty from the facts found by the tribunal, when dishonesty had not been alleged in the original disciplinary proceedings.The EAT had also been wrong to find that the tribunal was not entitled to take into account the employee's 20 years of loyal service in finding that the employee had been unfairly dismissed.
  • It is important for employers to take care to frame disciplinary charges accurately and to confine themselves only to those allegations in the proceedings that follow.
  • It is basic to all legal procedures that a defendant or employee, can only be found guilty of a charge that is put to them. The circumstances in which it would be possible to go beyond the original charges in disciplinary proceedings are extremely limited. The employee's appeal was allowed, and the tribunal's finding of unfair dismissal restored.