Scottish Council has paid out £800,000 over unfair dismissal

At an employment tribunal, a local council was found to have unfairly dismissed an employee. The employee was dismissed for alleged gross misconduct over claims he mishandled a staff grievance, but the employment judge stated that council officials wrongly stepped into an investigation which also failed to interview key witnesses. Opinions were reported as fact and non-impartial panel members were appointed to the disciplinary hearing.

The employment judge ruled that there were “no reasonable grounds” for the dismissal and the decision was based on “obvious inconsistencies” and “wrong assumptions” which “no reasonable employers would have made”.

The tribunal heard that the employee was also classed as a disabled person at the time as his ability to function was severely impacted by depression, stress and anxiety. As a result of stress and high blood pressure, he also suffered a retinal occlusion in his left eye and was left with blurred vision. The tribunal also heard that the employee’s wife was suffering from a life-threatening condition as well as his late father being diagnosed with cancer.

The employment judge hit out at the local authority’s disciplinary process, and the employee won his case for unfair dismissal and breach of contract as well as a claim for disability discrimination.

121 HR Solutions regularly run internal management workshops for clients to ensure that managers understand their obligations when carrying out investigations. Contact us at enquiries@121hrsolutions.co.uk if you would like more information.

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