Employment Cases Update

Paul v Virgin Care Ltd UKEAT/0104/19/RN

Date published: 05/02/2020

Appeal against the ET’s order dismissing the Claimant’s claim for automatically unfair dismissal, following her withdrawal of that claim. Appeal dismissed.

The Claimant, whose employment transferred from another organisation to the Respondent, was dismissed for misconduct. She brought various claims in the ET, including for breach of contract and/or unlawful deduction from wages, for "ordinary" unfair dismissal, and for automatically unfair dismissal, relying on regulation 7(1)(b) of the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 ("TUPE"). At a hearing at which the Claimant was representing herself, since she could not afford to continue legal representation, she indicated that she was withdrawing the automatically unfair dismissal claim, and the ET made an order dismissing that claim. The Claimant appealed on the grounds that the ET had erred in law in failing to take care to ensure that she had a free and informed choice when she withdrew her claim for automatically unfair dismissal, and in exerting unfair pressure on her which caused her to withdraw her claim.

The EAT held that the Claimant's withdrawal of her automatically unfair dismissal claim was clear, unambiguous and unequivocal. Furthermore, the ET acted properly with a view to clarifying and understanding the way in which the Claimant was putting her case. The Claimant was given an appropriate opportunity to consider whether or not to withdraw this part of her claim, in circumstances where the implications for the future pursuit of the claim were clear. Equally, there was no unfair pressure put on her to do so.

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