Misuse of company app resulted in fair dismissal

A woman who claimed that problems with an HR app were responsible for her losing her job has been found to have been fairly dismissed by an employment tribunal.

The employee was working as a cleaner for a cleaning company between May 2020 and October 2021 and was required to clock in and out of work using the company HR app on her smartphone. However, after seven months of consistently failing to clock her hours on the app the company let her go.

The employee argued at the tribunal that she was not properly trained in using the app, and that it often failed. She claimed that, when she received the app error message, she would send a screenshot to her boss, and later confirm the hours she worked. She said that when she claimed about this to HR, she received little or no support. She also claimed she was unfairly singled out, as many other company employees did not use the app.

However, the tribunal found that the employee had received training on how to use the app when she started the job, and that the training was sufficient for her to understand it. She used the app successfully when she first started the job, then failed to use it after about two-thirds of her rostered shifts.

The tribunal found no problem with the app, and that other employees were using it successfully. The decision was to uphold the employee’s dismissal stating the employee was not diligent in her use of the application. It found that the company had warned the employee that consistent failure to clock on and off was unacceptable and that the company had a valid reason to dismiss.

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