Last week, in YMCA Training v Stewart, the EAT (Underhill J. presiding) handed down an important decision on the statutory dismissal procedures.
Most of the decision is by a majority (one of the wing members dissenting), but it is unlikely that other courts will take a different view. The EAT held:
- an initial investigatory meeting can amount to a Step 1 meeting (paras. 9 and 11)
- the decision to dismiss can legitimately be communicated during the Step 2 meeting (obiter, para. 16), although the interesting question as to position if the decision is already made (i.e. a 'sham' procedure) did not fall to be considered
- by way of assumption (rather than discussion), that the Alexander v Bridgen Enterprises line of authorities are correct in that when considering whether the employer would still have dismissed if it had followed a fair 'procedure', the word 'procedure' should be interpreted widely rather than narrowly.
This is an important case - and one worth reading. Read YMCA v Stewart - but don't click here.
[Thanks to Edward Mallett of Littleton Chambers, who successfully represented the Appellant, for sending me this decision.]