19 March 2010 #Employment
In the case of Sarkar v West London Mental Health Trust the employer decided to deal with several complaints received about an employee through its informal procedure, which was designed for conduct that did not amount to serious or gross offence.
The employer consequently decided to report the employee to the General Medical Council. The company`s informal procedure was abandoned and the allegations were dealt with through the ordinary disciplinary procedure. The employee was subsequently dismissed for gross misconduct.
The Court of Appeal held that the dismissal was unreasonable, as the employer had initially applied informal proceedings in dealing with the complaints, which implied that the offences were minor. When the employee was then dismissed on much the same facts through the disciplinary route, the Court deemed the dismissal unfair.