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ACAS Code of Practice and Guide (cited above)

ACAS Code of Practice and Guide (cited above)
(ii) Proof of Misconduct
British Home Stores v Burchell [1980] ICR 303 (EAT) (Approved Weddel v Tepper
[1980] ICR 286 (CA), applied Wilson v Suckling (2010) 107(35) L.S.G. 21 (EAT))

Arnold, J (304):

1. Did the employer himself hold a belief?
2. Did he have in his own mind, reasonable grounds for that belief?
3. Had he carried out as much investigation as was reasonable in the circumstances?

Ferodo v Barnes [1976] ICR 439 (EAT)

Even if it is later proved that worker did not commit the offence, the dismissal can be fair

Harris (Ipswich) v Harrison [1978] ICR 1256 (EAT)

(iii) Proof and Group Dismissals

An employer unable to identify who out of a group of employees is guilty of dishonesty may dismiss them all

Monie v Coral Racing [1981] ICR 109 (CA) Sir David Cairns, p 122:

‘Looking at the matter as an ordinary business man would look at it I am of the opinion that the industrial tribunal were not in error in the special circumstances of this case in asking themselves whether there were solid and sensible grounds on which the employers could reasonably infer or suspect dishonesty.’

See also Whitbread & Co plc v Thomas [1988] ICR 135 (EAT); Parr v Whitbread (t/a Threshers Wine Merchants) [1990] ICR 427; [1990] IRLR 39 (EAT) (Four employers fairly dismissed when £4,600 stolen by “inside job” from shop.)

Where one of the group has a special relationship with the employer, it may be fair to dismiss the others

Frames Snooker Centre v Boyce [1992] IRLR 472 (EAT)

(iv) Personal appearance/dress codes

Boychuk v H J Symons Holdings Ltd [1977] IRLR 395 (EAT)

Worker (audit clerk who had contact with general public) fairly dismissed for wearing ‘Lesbians Ignite’ badge. Phillips J.at p.395:

‘This is the kind of problem which arises from time to time in relation to the behaviour of employees which for one reason or another employers disapprove of and wish to have changed — usually in relation to dress, hair, sexual behaviour, and so on. [The cases] do not enshrine any principle ….the decision is entrusted to an industrial tribunal as the tribunal of fact, being so composed as to be suitable to decide questions of this kind, and described in the Court of Appeal as having the characteristics of an industrial jury.’

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