20 September 2019 #Employment
The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) in Kasongo v Humanscale UK Ltd concluded that where an employer had waived privilege on advice about an employee’s dismissal, they could not cherry-pick which parts of the advice to disclose.
After being dismissed in February 2018, the Claimant proceeded to bring claims of unfair dismissal and discrimination, on the grounds of pregnancy. She alleged that the reason for her dismissal was that she told the Respondent on 30 January 2018 that she might be pregnant. Disagreeing, the Respondent argued that her dismissal was due to poor performance and work attitude.
The Respondent then disclosed a number of documents that appeared to corroborate its position, namely:
The Claimant managed to read a redacted comment (another reminder to be extra diligent in your redacting processes) that stated: “please double check I have this correct factually and that you are not uncomfortable with us saying this. The idea is to do enough to show we’ve not dismissed her for any discriminatory reason” and wanted to reply on this at the hearing.
Deliberating only over whether or not the materials could be relied on at the hearing, the EAT decided that all three documents were part of the same transaction of legal advice and therefore, by waiving privilege on all but the redacted elements, they had clearly ’cherry-picked’ their disclosure. The 6-day gap between the note and the letter did not affect the continuing transaction of advice meaning the entirety of all three documents had to be disclosed.