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Misconduct: Inconsistent treatment not decisive in itself

This report relates to 1 case(s)

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    Post Office v Gould and Graham EAT/587/92 (0 other reports)

The EAT holds in Post Office v Gould and Graham that an employer is entitled to take a serious view of the dishonesty of its employees, and to decide in any case whether the facts and circumstances are such that it can no longer trust a dishonest employee. Therefore it was not bound to retain a dishonest employee in employment simply because it had treated earlier and similar cases of dishonesty more leniently, having taken the view in those earlier cases that it could in future trust the employees.

The Court of Appeal decision in Post Office v Fennell [1981] IRLR 221 established the importance of consistent treatment of employees in the application of disciplinary rules and procedures. The Court said in that case that an employer would not have acted reasonably within the meaning of s.57(3) of the Employment Protection (Consolidation) Act 1978 (the EP(C)A) if it penalised one employee much more heavily than others who had committed similar offences in the past.