26 May 2010 #Employment
When looking at unfair dismissal cases involving an employee`s misconduct, tribunals will look at whether the employer`s investigation into the alleged misconduct was fair and reasonable. This means that the employer need not have conclusive direct proof of the employee`s misconduct but a genuine and reasonable belief.
In the case of Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust v Roldan the employee, who had been recruited from Singapore in 2003, claimed unfair dismissal on the basis that the employer had failed to conduct a proper investigation into her alleged misconduct.
In deciding whether the investigation was fair and adequate, the tribunal looked at the consequences for the employee of a finding of unfair dismissal.
This case reached the Court of Appeal, where it held that one of the factors to be taken into account is whether the employer carried out as much investigation as was reasonable ‘in all the circumstances of the case`.
‘All the circumstances` in this case included the fact that the employee had given 4 years service seemingly without complaint, and significantly if the dismissal had been found to be fair there would have been a real risk of a detriment to the employee`s career. The employee would have been at risk of deportation which would have damaged her opportunity of a career in this country.
The Court of Appeal ruled that the tribunal had been entitled to find that the dismissal was unfair.