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Matthew Rudd Represented Employee in the EAT, in University Hospital North Tees & Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust v Fairhall 

Mon 5th Jul 2021

Matthew Rudd represented the employee in the EAT, in University Hospital North Tees & Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust v Fairhall which dismissed the employer’s appeal.

The Claimant, who had 38 years’ good service, was suspended and then dismissed after making protected disclosures about patient safety. Her pre-dismissal grievance and appeal against dismissal were rejected. The tribunal found that the Respondent’s treatment of the Claimant was grossly unfair and was designed to get rid of her because of her disclosures. It rejected the dismissing manager’s evidence on the reason for dismissal.

The EAT rejected the Respondent’s argument that the tribunal had erred by drawing an inference as to the reason for dismissal being the protected disclosures having rejected the evidence of the Respondent’s other managers involved in the Claimant’s suspension and grievance, rather than only considering the thought-processes of the dismissing manager.

The EAT held that this was not a Jhuti-type case, where an innocent manager had been influenced into dismissing a whistle blower, so there was no need to examine the thought processes of other managers involved.

The EAT also held that where a Claimant makes a prima facie case that dismissal was for making a protected disclosure, and the Respondent’s reason for dismissal is rejected, there is no need to consider if there was another reason for dismissal not put forward by either side.

The detriment findings were remitted to the same tribunal to give further reasons (possibly at a combined remedy hearing) as the reasons given were not Meek compliant.

The link to the judgment is at https://www.gov.uk/employment-appeal-tribunal-decisions/university-hospital-of-north-tees-and-hartlepool-nhs-foundation-trust-v-ms-l-fairhall-ukeat-slash-0150-slash-20-slash-vp

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Photo of Matthew Rudd Represented Employee in the EAT, in University Hospital North Tees & Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust v Fairhall