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Statutory Dismissal Procedure: Unreasonable Delay

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The Court of Appeal has today overturned a line of EAT authorities on whether unreasonable delay in the statutory dismissal procedures makes the dismissal automatically unfair.

In Selvarajan v Wilmot, the employer took about four months to deal with the appeal against dismissal.

The Court of Appeal held, contrary to a line of EAT authorities, that unreasonable delay did not make the dismissal automatically unfair, as the statutory procedure had been "completed". Therefore - despite the delay - it could not be said that the procedure had "not been completed" under ERA 1996, s98A(1).

[Thanks to Joanne Woodward of 9 St John Street Chambers and Joanne Martin of Davies Arnold Cooper, both of whom acted for the successful employer, for telling me about this case]