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Case law: Court confirms when employers can dismiss employees without offering to redeploy them

Employers may dismiss employees for capability, without offering to redeploy them in another role, if they honestly believe the employee falls short of the basic standards required of all their employees, to the extent it can be inferred that they would be incapable of undertaking any other role in the organisation.

July 2017

This update was published in Legal Alert - July 2017

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 Council employee was dismissed for capability. She claimed that she had been dismissed for having the temerity to complain that she was overworked, and that she should have been offered a redeployment before being dismissed.

The Employment Tribunal (ET) took into account the employer's evidence that she had been given a great deal of support and training, and had still fallen short of threshold standards in relation to accuracy and meeting deadlines. She had not been offered a redeployment as these were basic standards required for every post within the Council and her employer had therefore been justified in concluding that a redeployment would not be appropriate.

The ET also accepted the employer's evidence that her work had been taken over by another employee, who had been able to manage the workload effectively. It therefore found that the dismissal, without an offer of redeployment, was fair.

The Employment Appeal Tribunal agreed with the ET's approach, and that the dismissal for capability was fair.

Operative date

  • Now

Recommendation

  • Employers may dismiss employees for capability, without offering to redeploy them in another role, if they honestly believe that the employee falls short of the basic standards required of all their employees, so that it can be inferred that they would not be capable of undertaking any other role in the organisation

Case ref: Awojobi v London Borough of Lewisham UKEAT/0243/16/LA

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.