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Highlighting the importance of following a fair disciplinary procedure

A recent case has highlighted the importance for employers to conduct a fair disciplinary procedure to avoid an unfair dismissal claim. The employee in question was dismissed for posting a competitors offer to his girlfriend on facebook. While he had been spoken to before about his use of social media, he had never been issued with any warnings, nor had he been told any future misuse could result in his dismissal. The tribunal upheld his unfair dismissal claim on the grounds that what he had done did not amount to gross misconduct and the employer had made the decision before the disciplinary hearing. He was not given the right to bring a representative, put forward his case and his appeal was ignored. He was awarded nearly £5,000 in lost wages and £1,200 costs.

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