Editor's message: If you reach a decision to dismiss an employee, bear in mind that employees have the right not to be unfairly dismissed under the Employment Rights Act 1996.
If the employee complains to an employment tribunal that they were unfairly dismissed, you will have to show that the reason for the dismissal is one of the potentially fair reasons set out in the Employment Rights Act, such as redundancy, conduct and capability. If you can establish this, an employment tribunal will go on to consider if you acted reasonably in dismissing the employee, taking into account all the circumstances. A diligent employer will need to show that they investigated the matter, followed a fair procedure and ultimately made a reasonable decision to dismiss.
If a dismissal is found to be unfair, employment tribunals generally order the employer to pay financial compensation to the employee. Very occasionally, employment tribunals exercise their powers to order employers to re-engage or reinstate the employee.
Zeba Sayed, employment law editor
Updated to include information on Tees Esk & Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust v Harland and others, in which the EAT considered how to determine the "principal purpose" in relation to a service provision change.
Updated to include information on Beatt v Croydon Health Services NHS Trust, concerning an employee’s dismissal for making protected disclosures.
The Court of Appeal heard the appeal in the important whistleblowing case Chesterton Global Ltd (t/a Chesterton Humberts) and another v Nurmohamed on 8 June. The Court of Appeal is considering when a disclosure is "in the public interest", a key hurdle for claimants seeking to demonstrate that a disclosure is protected.
Cases on appeal provides news on key case law developments that are expected.
The Court of Appeal has held that, where the reason or principal reason for a dismissal is because the employee made a disclosure, the question of whether or not that disclosure is protected falls to be determined objectively by the tribunal, and not the employer.
An employment tribunal has rejected the unfair dismissal claim of a long-serving employee with a clean disciplinary record who was dismissed over comments she made on Facebook about her employer.
Kirsti Laird is senior associate at Charles Russell Speechlys. She rounds up the latest rulings.
The Court of Appeal has held that the employer was not required to match each category of gross misconduct to each allegation and that how the conduct was eventually categorised was a matter for the decision-maker after all the evidence had been adduced.
In City of York Council v Grosset EAT/0015/16, the EAT upheld a tribunal's decision that the dismissal of a teacher who showed an 18-rated film to a class of vulnerable 15- and 16-year-olds amounted to discrimination because of something arising from his disability under s.15 of the Equality Act 2010. The evidence available to the tribunal enabled a permissible conclusion that the misconduct arose in consequence of disability, and that dismissal was not objectively justified.
Darren Newman talks listeners through British Home Stores Ltd v Burchell, one of the most significant cases in employment law.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to unfair dismissal.