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Dismissal: Three Strikes and You’re Out?
It’s commonly known that under the ACAS Code formal disciplinary warnings go First, Second, Third and then dismissal. If the misconduct is sufficiently serious, employers may go straight to a final written warning.
In theory one can dismiss someone for being five minutes late if the employer goes through a fair procedure with the appropriate escalation of warnings. What if those earlier warnings are unfair though?
In Wincanton Group v Stone this month the EAT held that when considering the fairness of a dismissal based on accumulated disciplinary warnings, the Tribunal should not ‘go behind’ earlier warnings, unless satisfied that an earlier warning was issued in bad faith or was manifestly inappropriate.
Therefore the Tribunal will go into the fairness of earlier warnings if for example the employee claims it was a trumped up charge, but on the whole this decision will be a comfort to employers who are considering dismissal following repeated, but not major, misconduct.
In the meantime don’t forget that people employed after the 6th April 2012 now have to wait two years before they accrue the right not to be unlawfully dismissed.
Chancellor’s Autumn Statement: Read the useful summary produced by Robinsons Chartered Accountants at Summary Download.
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