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Employment Law Case of the Week
Okhiria v Royal Mail UKEAT/0054/14/LA
An Employer is not required to await the outcome of criminal proceedings before taking disciplinary action.
The employee, in this case, was dismissed for gross misconduct after being arrested for suspected criminal activity.
He brought a claim for unfair dismissal arguing that his Employer should have waited until the criminal proceedings had been concluded before starting the disciplinary process. However, a tribunal disagreed. The tribunal reminded itself that a careful investigation is required where there are serious allegations of criminal misbehaviour before concluding that there had been a reasonable and adequate investigation by the Employer and the decision to dismiss the Employee fell within the range of reasonable responses. It did not matter that the Manager who conducted the disciplinary hearing did not have a taped interview of the Employee's questioning by the police or a full transcript of that interview. He had seen a summary of that interview and had been taken through that summary by the investigators and had sufficient detail to reasonably assure himself of the position.
Topic of the Week
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Employment Tribunal Awards
Until 1999 the statutory maximum limits on monetary awards, which employment tribunals could make, were fixed on a somewhat haphazard and irregular basis. This has now been changed. The Secretary of State must now make annual orders to index-link most maximum limits by reference to changes in RPI for September, up or down, in each year.
The amount of compensation awarded following an employment tribunal will depend on the nature and outcome of the case.
The proposals in the Government's 2006 White Paper on Personal Accounts, the aim of which is to introduce "soft compulsion" into workplace pension provision, are now coming to fruition. On 27 October 2010 the Pensions Minister, Steve Webb, confirmed that the Government would proceed with implementing the reforms set out in the Pensions Act 2008 and accompanying regulations, subject to the relatively minor changes recommended by an independent review of the proposed regime.
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