Receptek v Pearce UKEAT/0186/14/LA

Ensure you have reasonable and proper cause to discipline someone before you discuss a settlement agreement with them or risk a finding of unfair constructive dismissal.

The claimant was an Operations Manager in a company employing 5 people.  The husband of a colleague (who it is was alledged the claimant didn't enjoy the best of relations with) was recruited above the claimant as General Manager. When the claimant returned to work following an injury, the General Manager was sat at his desk and the claimant found he no longer had access to files on his computer. Following complaints made about him by the wife of the General Manager, the claimant was called into a meeting with the Proprietor.  The Proprietor asked what the claimant would take to go, and issued a veiled threat that if he did not agree to do so there might be disciplinary proceedings against him.

The claimant resigned and claimed unfair constructive dismissal at the ET. He was successful, the ET concluding that the claimant correctly interpreted what the proprietor wanted and reasonably inferred a veiled threat to use the disciplinary procedure if the claimant stayed on in his current role. The proprietor had no reasonable and proper cause for that and the claimant resigned in response to the breach. The events took place over a very small time frame and there was no evidence to indicate that the claimant had any other reason for his decision to resign. The respondent appealed and the EAT dismissed the appeal.

For full details of the case click here

 


Last modified on Tuesday, 25 November 2014 11:17
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