Employment Cases Update

Gwynedd Council v Barratt and another UKEAT/0206/18/VP

Date published: 10/06/2020

Appeal against the ET’s decision that the Claimants were unfairly dismissed by reason of redundancy. Appeal dismissed.

The Claimants were teachers employed by the Respondent. The school where they worked was closed, and they were unsuccessful in applying for positions at a new school that opened in its place. The Claimants were given written notice of termination on the grounds of redundancy, but they were not given an opportunity either to make representations in respect of the decision to dismiss or to lodge an appeal. The ET concluded that the Claimants were not dismissed because a redundancy situation arose, rather they were dismissed because of the method that the Respondent chose to deal with the redundancy situation; in particular, it considered that the lack of any appeal or review of the process of requiring the Claimants to apply for their own jobs was both substantively and procedurally unfair; further, the ET rejected the Respondent's assertion that it should make a 100% Polkey deduction on the basis that, even if the Claimants had had the opportunity to appeal, they would have been dismissed in any event. The Respondent appealed on the grounds that the ET erred (1) in concluding that there was no genuine redundancy situation and that dismissal was not inevitable, (2) in its approach to fairness, and (3) in failing to make a Polkey deduction.

The EAT held that (1) the ET had not erred in law in stating that dismissal as a result of the redundancy situation was not inevitable, (2) there was no error in the ET's approach to fairness, and (3) the question of the Polkey deduction fell away in light of the ET's conclusion that dismissal was not inevitable.

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