• Robert Spicer

Unfair dismissal: issues not raised by claimant


Issues not raised in claim form

Case Perry’s Motor Sales Ltd v Edwards (2017) Morning Star, February 17, EAT

Facts E was given a first and final written warning in May 2014 after he was found guilty of tampering with company paperwork. Some months later he submitted a false claim for work done on a car. He admitted the offence. He did not gain individually from either offence. He was dismissed for breaches of trust and confidence. He complained of unfair dismissal. The ET upheld the complaint, finding that the first written warning had been outside the band of reasonable responses, that the employer had not carried out a reasonable investigation and the situation would not have arisen if the employer had provided E with training and support on its procedures. The employer appealed to the EAT.

Decision 1. The appeal was allowed.

2. E had not raised the issue of the validity of the first warning. The tribunal had taken it upon itself to look behind it.

3. It had been an error of law for the tribunal to decide a point which it had not been asked to consider.

4. By putting the issue of the warning at the heart of its considerations, the tribunal had failed to consider the fairness of the dismissal against the existence of a valid final written warning. The matter was remitted to a different tribunal for rehearing.

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