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Seen not to be biased

04 May 2011 #Employment


The EAT has confirmed that for a grievance process to be fair, it should not only be free from actual bias, but also from any apparent bias.
 
In Watson v University of Strathclyde (2011), Ms Watson had raised a grievance about a colleague, Mr Taylor.  She then raised concerns that the subsequent grievance investigation was tainted by a conflict of interest, as this was conducted by a Dr West, who in the past had been publicly supportive of Mr Taylor.  The subsequent grievance appeal panel (which also included Dr West), rejected Ms Watson`s appeal and concluded there was no conflict of interest.  Ms Watson resigned & claimed constructive dismissal.
 
The EAT confirmed that any reasonable employer must have regard to an employee`s concerns of bias.  For a fair grievance process, it must be free from not only actual bias but also any perceived bias.  Accordingly, the EAT upheld Ms Watson`s appeal and held that she had been unfairly dismissed.
Clarkslegal, specialist Employment lawyers in London, Reading and throughout the Thames Valley.
For further information about this or any other Employment matter please contact Clarkslegal's employment team by email at employmentunit@clarkslegal.com by telephone 020 7539 8000 (London office), 0118 958 5321 (Reading office) or by completing the form on this page.

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