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  • Writer's pictureRobert Spicer


Automatic unfair dismissal

Main or principal reason test

Case Secure Care UK Ltd v Mott (2022) Morning Star, January 4, EAT Facts M was employed by SC as logistics manager. Shortly after starting employment he raised concerns about staffing levels. In September 2018 he was instructed to tell a client that SC had cover for an assignment. This was untrue. M told his manager that SC was in breach of health and safety regulations, working time regulations and the requirements of the Care Quality Commission. In November 2018 he was dismissed for redundancy. He complained of automatic unfair dismissal by reason of making protected disclosures. The ET found that he had made three protected disclosures. The decision to make M redundant had been materially influence by the protected disclosures and his complaint was upheld, SC appealed to the EAT.

Decision 1. The appeal was allowed and the matter remitted to the ET. 2. Section 103A of the Employment Rights Act 1996 states, in summary, that an employee who is dismissed shall be regarded as unfairly dismissed if the reason, or if more than one, the principal reason for the dismissal is that the employee made a protected disclosure. 3. The ET had applied the wrong causation test in that it had relied on the material influence test rather than the sole/principal reason test.

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