Employment Cases Update

East Coast Main Line Company Ltd v Cameron UKEAT/0212/19/BA

Date published: 18/05/2020

Appeal against the ET’s finding that the Claimant had been wrongfully dismissed. Appeal allowed.

The Claimant, who had worked for the Respondent for more than 30 years, was summarily dismissed following a safety-related incident. The original ET dismissed the Claimant's various claims, including for wrongful dismissal; however, on appeal by the Claimant, the EAT held that the ET had reached its conclusion on wrongful dismissal without first having made the requisite findings of fact and directing itself as to the applicable legal principles, and remitted the wrongful dismissal part of the case back to the same ET "to decide – with further evidence only if it decides it necessary – whether the claim for wrongful dismissal succeeds or fails". The ET did not consider it necessary to receive further evidence or to convene a further hearing, and it found that the Claimant had been wrongfully dismissed and was entitled to notice pay. The Respondent appealed, contending that the second ET's finding that the Claimant's conduct had been insufficiently grave and weighty to warrant summary dismissal was perverse, and that its reliance on the Claimant's length of service as a relevant factor was also perverse and/or a misapplication of the relevant law.

The EAT held that the second ET's conclusion was perverse, when viewed in the context of all relevant findings of fact, and also that it had erred in law by taking into account the Claimant's length of service. Accordingly, since the only proper conclusion which the second ET could have reached was that the claim for wrongful dismissal was unfounded, the EAT substituted a finding that the claim of wrongful dismissal failed and should be dismissed.

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