• Robert Spicer

Unfair dismissal: trade union activities

UNFAIR DISMISSAL

Automatic unfair dismissal

Trade union activities

Case Morris v Metrolink RATP DEV Ltd [2018] EWCA Civ 1358, Court of Appeal

Facts M was a union representative for the Workers of England trade union at Metrolink. Five members of the union were put at risk of redundancy. M was sent a photograph of a diary, taken without permission, belonging to a line manager. The diary contained adverse comments about the five. M lodged a grievance which contained the diary material. He was dismissed for storing and sharing private and confidential material. He complained of unfair dismissal and automatic unfair dismissal for taking part in trade union activities. The ET upheld the complaint. Metrolink appealed to the EAT which allowed the appeal. M appealed to the Court of Appeal.

Decision 1. The appeal was allowed.

  1. M had not copied the material nor shared it further.

  2. It could not be uncommon for a trade union representative to be the recipient of a leak.

  3. M had made very limited use of the material and its use was within the scope of trade union activities.

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