May 31, 2013

Contributory conduct

The employee was duly found to have been unfair dismissed in this case, having sent emails in the names of other employees, one of which wrongly implied that a colleague had committed a criminal offence. The Tribunal found the dismissal to be procedurally unfair and that, because of the Claimant’s conduct, it was not just and equitable to award him either a basic or a compensatory award.

His appeal was dismissed and the EAT set out the following principles for assessing contributory conduct and reduction of award:-

  • A reduction of 100% for contributory conduct can be justified even if the employer had procedural failings, provided these did not cause or contribute to the dismissal. 
  • The basic may be reduced to zero by virtue of the Claimant’s conduct and the accepted approach set out in Devis v Atkins.

This legal update is provided for general information purposes only and should not be applied to specific circumstances without prior consultation with us.

For further details on any of the issues covered in this update please contact Gemma Ospedale, Partner in Employment on 020 7583 2222.

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