Unfair dismissal and discrimination

  • Joanne Baker-Gabb
  • Thursday, August 30th, 2018

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) held in Mbubaegbu v Homerton University Hospital, that a dismissal for misconduct without prior warning was reasonable when multiple issues arise, none of which are, by themselves, gross misconduct.

The Claimant was a consultant surgeon. The Hospital had introduced internal reporting procedures designed to address a dysfunctional working environment. Despite an unblemished career, the Claimant was dismissed for multiple alleged breaches. His colleagues had also faced similar, less serious allegations and none were dismissed. The tribunal held the dismissal was fair, not discriminatory and not wrongful. There was no single finding of an act of gross misconduct by the Claimant.

The Tribunal accepted that trust and confidence had been undermined by the Claimant’s conduct. The EAT noted that “it is quite possible for a series of acts demonstrating a pattern of conduct to be of sufficient seriousness to undermine the relationship of trust and confidence between employer and employee”. It saw “no reason why an employer would be acting outside the range of reasonable responses were it to dismiss an employee in whom it had lost trust and confidence in this way”.