Employment Cases Update

Kuteh v Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust [2019] EWCA Civ 818

Date published: 15/05/2019

Appeal against the EAT’s decision dismissing the Claimant’s appeal from a decision of the ET rejecting her claim that she had been unfairly dismissed. Appeal dismissed.

The Claimant, who was a nurse employed by the Respondent, was dismissed for gross misconduct as a result of her initiating inappropriate conversations about religion with patients. The ET dismissed the Claimant's claim alleging unfair dismissal, and ruled that Article 9 ECHR (in the context of the Nursing and Midwifery Council ("NMC") Code) had no application in the instant case, since she had not framed her claim as one alleging discrimination because of her religion or belief. The Claimant's appeal to the EAT was dismissed, and she appealed against the EAT's decision on two grounds: (1) the EAT had failed to consider the correct interpretation of the relevant NMC Code provision and the distinction between appropriate and inappropriate expressions of religious beliefs; and (2) the EAT had erred in failing to acknowledge that Article 9 was applicable and to consider the fact-sensitive distinction between true evangelism and improper proselytism.

The Court of Appeal held that it had plainly been open to the ET to conclude that the dismissal had not been unfair, and the EAT had been correct to regard the appeal as having no reasonable prospect of success and therefore to dismiss it.

Read the full text of the judgment on BAILII or download the file by clicking the link below.