Employment Cases Update

Robinson v His Highness Sheikh Khalid Bin Saqr Al Qasim UKEAT/0106/19/RN, UKEAT/0107/19/RN & UKEAT/0136/19/RN

Date published: 11/02/2020

Appeal against the ET’s decision dismissing the Claimant’s claims for unfair and wrongful dismissal. Appeal allowed in part.

The Claimant started working for the Respondent in 2007 under an arrangement whereby she was liable to pay her own tax. In 2014, it transpired that she had not paid any tax and, in 2017, she was dismissed. The Claimant contended that she made a number of protected disclosures between 2014 and 2017, and brought claims in the ET for unfair and wrongful dismissal. The ET dismissed her claims and found that she was not subjected to any detriment for having made protected disclosures; it held that she was dismissed for a fair reason, namely a dispute about liability to pay tax, and the dismissal was unfair only insofar as the Respondent should have had a further meeting with her prior to dismissal, but the Claimant was precluded from bringing a claim for unfair or wrongful dismissal because she had performed the contract illegally by failing to declare and pay income tax.

The Claimant appealed against the ET's decision on six grounds, including that the ET erred in finding that she could not bring claims because of her illegal performance of the contract, and that the reason for dismissal was other than the making of protected disclosures. The Respondent cross-appealed on the ground that the ET erred in finding that the Claimant had made any protected disclosures.

The EAT held that the ET had been entitled to find that the reason for the dismissal was not the making of the protected disclosures but the fact that the Claimant wanted the Respondent to pay her tax bill; and it had also been entitled to conclude that any detriment to which the Claimant was subjected was not materially influenced by the fact that she had made protected disclosures. However, the ET erred in concluding that the Claimant was precluded from presenting a claim for wrongful dismissal and unfair dismissal in 2017, since any illegal performance of the contract of employment for which the Claimant was responsible had ended by 2014. The EAT allowed the Respondent's cross-appeal in relation to two of the six disclosures considered, but this did not affect the outcome of the Claimant's appeal against the ET's decision.

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