Employment Cases Update

Jagex Ltd v McCambridge UKEAT/0041/19/LA

Date published: 27/11/2019

Appeal against the ET’s judgment that the Claimant had been unfairly and wrongfully dismissed, and its decision that no contributory fault or Polkey reduction should be made. Appeal allowed in part.

The Claimant found a document on a communal printer that contained salary details of a senior executive of the Respondent. When it became apparent that others knew the salary details, even though the document remained by the printer until the next day when the Claimant put it in a confidential waste bin, the Respondent investigated the Claimant and summarily dismissed him for gross misconduct. On the Claimant's claims of unfair and wrongful dismissal, the ET found that the Respondent's approach had been extraordinarily heavy-handed, and that the dismissal was substantively and procedurally unfair. The ET also found that no contributory fault or Polkey reduction was appropriate. The Respondent appealed on the grounds that (1) the ET erred in its approach to the application of Polkey by not making a percentage reduction to the compensatory award, (2) the ET erred in deciding not to make a reduction for contributory fault in relation to both the basic and compensatory awards, and (3) the ET wrongly approached the construction of the Claimant's contract of employment.

The EAT held, in relation to the second ground of appeal, that the ET had applied the wrong test when considering contributory conduct, since it should have considered whether the Claimant's conduct was blameworthy or culpable, even though it had decided that there was no gross misconduct; accordingly, some specific questions on that matter would be remitted to the same ET.

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