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Prior warnings not always required to make a misconduct dismissal fair

The Claimant was dismissed with notice for gross misconduct, after failing to complete compliance training and missing a compulsory training course. On appeal, the employer re-categorised the misconduct as 'serious', but nonetheless upheld the dismissal.

The ET took a rigid view that the dismissal was unfair, holding that for 'serious' misconduct dismissals, prior warnings are to apply. The EAT disagreed, holding that there was no rule that dismissing an employee without prior warnings for conduct that is less than gross misconduct must be unfair.

However, employers are warned that in most cases such dismissals are outside the band of reasonable responses, risking being unfair. If in doubt, advice should always be sought.

If you wish to discuss this further, please contact us.

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