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Law for Business

Knowhow - guidance - precedents

12 SEP 2012

Identifying reason for dismissal

The EAT in Screene v Seatwave considered the consequences of a discrepancy between the reason for dismissal given in a dismissal letter and the reason given in the ET3.

The claimant was a financial controller, dismissed by his employer for gross negligence after failing to prevent a large-scale fraud. The tribunal found that his dismissal was for conduct reasons and was fair in the circumstances. The claimant appealed on the basis that the ET3 had pleaded capability (rather than conduct) as the reason for dismissal and the tribunal had therefore substituted its own view and failed to direct itself properly. The EAT dismissed the appeal and held that a tribunal was entitled to make a decision on the basis of what it considered the reason for dismissal to be, as long as this did not prejudice the claimant. In this case, the decision to dismiss was based on the same set of facts, no matter how the dismissal was labelled, and the claimant had therefore suffered no prejudice.

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