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The recent case involving a nurse has clarified the law where there are a number of individual reasons for the dismissal of an employee.

The final question a Tribunal must ask itself in deciding whether or not a dismissal was unfair was whether an employer acted within the band of reasonable responses in deciding to dismiss in all the circumstances.

In a case involving a nurse there were a number of individual related incidents leading to dismissal .The Tribunal examined them on an individual basis and the nurse appealed on the basis the approach of the Tribunal was incorrect.

The EAT held that where the reason for dismissal is a composite of a number of conclusions about different events the Tribunal must examine the whole of the employer’s reasoning because it is this that represents the actual reason that the employer had for dismissing the employee.

So the correct approach is to look at the reason for dismissal and only then should the Tribunal deal with whether the employer acted reasonably by having regard to the totality of the reason that the employer gives for dismissal.

There are occasionally cases where an employee is dismissed for a number of composite but separate grounds.

Where the employer does have composite reasons for dismissal what the Tribunal has to do and an employer has to be careful about, is to look at them as a whole and then to ask whether dismissal for that composition of reasons falls within the range of reasonable responses.  It is quite possible for each of the constituent parts of the composite reasons to be unfair individually but fair when viewed as a whole.

Advice about unfair dismissal and appeals

If you are at all unsure about whether a dismissal is fair or unfair, please contact us. We are always happy to provide you with expert employment law advice, whether you’re an employee or an employer. Bray & Bray have three main offices across Leicestershire, feel free to phone or pop in to talk to our solicitors.