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Case law: Failure to specify which of multiple possible reasons for dismissal was relied on makes dismissal unfair

Employers dismissing an employee in circumstances where there are multiple possible reasons for doing so, should specify which reasons they are relying on - including whether they believe which reasons justify dismissal on their own. Otherwise they risk the dismissal being unfair, a ruling makes clear.

Legal Alert

This update was published in Legal Alert - December 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.

A bus driver was dismissed following multiple incidents of misconduct. In his claim for unfair dismissal, the Employment Appeal Tribunal ruled that where there were multiple possible reasons for a dismissal, but the employee has not clearly shown which it relied on to justify the dismissal – including those it believed justified dismissal on their own - the employer cannot show that the dismissal is within the range of reasonable responses open to an employer. The dismissal will therefore be unfair.

This is so whether the reasons all relate to conduct, or where some relate to conduct and some to capability.

Operative date

  • Now


  • Employers dismissing an employee in circumstances where there are several possible reasons for doing so should specify exactly which reasons they are relying on to justify the dismissal - including whether they believe individual acts justify dismissal on their own - or risk the dismissal being unfair

Case ref: Broecker v Metroline Travel Limited UKEAT/0124/16/DM

Disclaimer: This article from Atom Content Marketing is for general guidance only, for businesses in the United Kingdom governed by the laws of England. Atom Content Marketing, expert contributors and ICAEW (as distributor) disclaim all liability for any errors or omissions.