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Poor attitude to organisational change can constitute gross misconduct

The Court of Appeal has held that the employment tribunal was entitled to find that an employee's poor attitude to organisational change had, on the facts, amounted to gross misconduct and a repudiatory breach of contract. Her claims for unfair and wrongful dismissal accordingly failed. In relation to race discrimination, whilst there had been flaws in the original dismissal decision (cured on an internal appeal), there was nothing exceptional about those flaws and, accordingly, they did not amount to a prima facie case.

The factual nexus of the case was that the employee had been in a management position and was dismissed having failed to cooperate with, support or lead a change in the service in which she worked. This included at least one instance of unprofessional behaviour, at a meeting.

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