A recent case in the EAT Brito-Babapulle v Ealing Hospital NHS Trust UKEAT/0358/12 is a useful reminder of the law on unfair dismissal. In that case, the Tribunal felt that dismissal would always fall within the range of reasonable responses test for cases of gross misconduct. However, the EAT felt that the Tribunal has skipped a step in considering whether mitigating factors meant that summary dismissal was not reasonable.
For example, an employee’s length of service, unblemished record, the nature of the misconduct and the consequences of dismissal. Whilst nothing new it is a helpful reminder of the need to assess each case on its equity and merits rather than a blanket gross misconduct and summary dismissal = fair dismissal basis. The Tribunal must however tread a fine line in not substituting its own views for that of the employer and when one weighs up all the factors this could be a danger area for the Tribunal to stray into.