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Case law: Tribunal may order reinstatement of an unfairly dismissed employee on restricted terms, even if it's not what the employee wants

Employers unfairly dismissing an employee should be aware that an Employment Tribunal may order that the employee be reinstated on certain terms, even if reinstatement on those terms is not what the employee wants.

Legal Alert

This update was published in Legal Alert - July 2016

Legal Alert is a monthly checklist from Atom Content Marketing highlighting new and pending laws, regulations, codes of practice and rulings that could have an impact on your business.

An employee working for the police had been accused of perjury in very public circumstances following her involvement in a high profile murder case, but was acquitted. She resumed her duties but was not allowed to sign off reports or give evidence in court.

She was later unfairly dismissed, and the Employment Tribunal ordered her reinstatement but with the inference that her new role would continue to be restricted, so that she could still not give evidence in court.

Her employer appealed against the reinstatement order arguing that such a restriction was not acceptable to her as she wanted to resume full duties.

The Supreme Court found that the law merely required that she be reinstated in her previous employment. That could be achieved even if, on reinstatement, she was still barred from giving evidence in court because she had already been working under that restriction for several years without this amounting to a breach of her contract of employment. An Employment Tribunal did not have to be satisfied that a reinstatement order would be acceptable to both employer and employee before ordering reinstatement.

Operative date

  • Now

Recommendations

  • Employers unfairly dismissing an employee should be aware that an Employment Tribunal may order that the employee be reinstated on certain terms, even if such a reinstatement is not what the employee wants

Case ref: McBride v Scottish Police Authority [2016] UKSC 27

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