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Reasonableness of dismissal: Breach of contractual disciplinary procedure did not make dismissal unfair

This report relates to 1 case(s)

In Stevens v Rank Xerox Ltd, the EAT upholds an industrial tribunal's finding that the employee's exclusion from interviews of a colleague and witnesses who had accused him of sexual harassment did not make his dismissal for gross misconduct unfair. Although that was a breach of the employer's contractual disciplinary procedure, there is no true distinction in law between "procedure" and "jurisdiction" when industrial tribunals are applying the "reasonableness test" under s.57(3) of the Employment Protection (Consolidation) Act 1978. Every case depends on its own facts, and the tribunal in this case was entitled to find that the employer had acted reasonably despite departing from its procedure.