Tamsin Sandiford successfully defends Respondent in unfair dismissal claim in the employment tribunal

Tamsin Sandiford
Written by:

Oliver Edwards


The Claimant was dismissed on the grounds of gross misconduct in respect of abusive and threatening messages he had sent to a junior colleague. He brought a claim of unfair dismissal on the basis that there were alternatives to dismissal and that the investigation was flawed as the complainant was not interviewed by the decision-maker.

Alternatives to dismissal had been explored but had not been considered suitable. Tamsin successfully argued that even if there were reasonable alternatives to dismissal, these would simply fall within the band of reasonable responses and dismissal was still within that band. She argued in particular that the Claimant’s seniority relative to the complainant, who was a member of the Claimant’s team, made summary dismissal a reasonable response. 

She also successfully argued that it was reasonable for the decision-maker not to interview the complainant as he had been interviewed twice at the investigation stage and the decision-maker had reviewed his two witness statements. She also argued that the fact the complainant had not wished to be contacted when the appeal handler attempted to reach him showed that he was unlikely to respond to the initial decision-maker either, so it would not have made a difference had the decision-maker attempted to contact him. The claim was therefore dismissed.

Written by Oliver Edwards