Daniel Barnett: Can a warning given in bad faith be relied on for the purpose of determining whether there is sufficient reason to dismiss an employee? No, held the Court of Appeal in Way v Spectrum Property Care Limited.
The Claimant received a final written warning which he alleged was given in bad faith. This warning was taken into account by the Respondent in its decision to dismiss the Claimant for unrelated misconduct. The employment tribunal had refused to hear evidence as to whether the warning was given in bad faith, and dismissed the claim for unfair dismissal.
The Court of Appeal found that an employer who took into account a warning given in bad faith would not be acting reasonably. The case was remitted the hearing to a fresh tribunal to consider whether the warning was given in bad faith, and the fairness of the dismissal in light of that.
Thanks to Rosa Dickinson of St Philips Chambers for preparing this case summary