In reviewing case law from 2021 there are a number of useful reminders:
– In the case of Jaguar vs Rumbold, Mr Rumbold had worked for Jaguar for over 20 years, but had missed 808 shifts during that time, costing the company approximately £95,000 in sick pay. He was dismissed in 2018 but successfully claimed unfair dismissal because his employer, Jaguar Landrover Limited, failed to follow its own absence management procedures. They left it so long before deciding to dismiss him that the Tribunal did not consider dismissal a ‘reasonable response’.
What we learn from this case is that disciplinary action should be proportionate – in cases of gross misconduct, dismissal may be a clear outcome, but where misconduct has been tolerated for a long time it is better to follow the disciplinary process by giving an employee a chance to improve through a series of warnings.
– In the case of Sobnack vs Loughborough University, a lecturer accused of sending ‘aggressive’ text messages to colleagues was awarded £15,000 for unfair dismissal as the Tribunal ruled there had not been a proper investigation in the allegations made against him. However the Tribunal reduced the compensation awarded to Dr Binoy Sobnack due to the ‘brusque, blunt and unnecessarily aggressive tone’ of messages he sent to colleagues. This case emphasises the importance of a thorough investigation in any disciplinary action.
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This post was written by SKHR