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Way v Spectrum Property Care Ltd  EWCA Civ 381;  IRLR 657; (2015) EMPLR 043
22 April 2015
Court of Appeal, Civil Division
Hallett, Patten and Christopher Clarke LJJ
Tribunals do not normally question the validity of a warning when deciding the fairness of a dismissal for further misconduct after the warning. They will only do so if the warning was given in bad faith or was manifestly inappropriate. This case shows that if a claimant asserts that a warning was given in bad faith, the tribunal must consider whether that assertion is correct.
W was given a final warning for allegedly assisting a friend’s son to obtain employment with the employer. W was later dismissed for sending inappropriate emails. The warning was taken into account. W claimed his dismissal was unfair. He asserted that the warning had been given in bad faith because the person who imposed it did so to cover up his own involvement.
The employment tribunal concluded the dismissal was fair, without deciding whether or not the warning had been given in bad faith. The Court of Appeal remitted the case for a complete rehearing before a different tribunal, indicating that the tribunal would need to decide whether or not the warning had been given in bad faith.