Employment Cases Update

Cadent Gas Ltd v Singh UKEAT/0024/19/BA

Date published: 19/11/2019

Appeal against the ET’s decision upholding the Claimant’s claim that the reason or principal reason for his dismissal was that he had engaged in trade union activities. Appeal dismissed.

The Claimant, who had worked for the Respondent for nearly 30 years and was an active trade union official, was found guilty of gross misconduct and was dismissed by the Respondent. The Claimant brought claims for unfair dismissal, automatic unfair dismissal on the grounds of trade union membership or activities, and wrongful dismissal. The ET found that the Claimant had been treated more severely than others for similar conduct and that the principal reason for his dismissal was his trade union activities. The Respondent appealed, arguing that the ET had erred in failing to ensure that it considered only the mental processes of the decision-makers in relation to the dismissal, and that its approach to the comparators was perverse.

The EAT held that the ET had asked itself the correct question, "What is the employer's reason (or, if more than one, the principal reason) for the dismissal?", but the Respondent had patently failed to establish the reason, and so the ET had been entitled to infer that it was the Claimant's trade union activities; further, the Respondent's points regarding the comparators fell far short of crossing the high threshold of a perversity claim. Accordingly, the appeal would be dismissed.

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