Convicted of Assault but Unfairly Dismissed
16 December 2015
This case features two London Zoo employees at their Christmas party, where one of the them was dating the ex-boyfriend of the other. The resultant tribunal is a good example of how Christmas parties and workplace relationships can both turn sour!
One of the employees, W, overheard the other employee, S, talking about her in the toilets at the venue. An altercation swiftly followed, which led to W physically attacking S. In response, S decided to spit at W before proceeding to dangle her over a balcony with a 30 foot drop to the ground. W’s reaction was to smack W in the face with a glass, which required hospital attention.
Upon returning to work, both employees were found guilty of misconduct. Despite being found guilty of the same offence, W was dismissed and S was given a final warning. As a result, W brought a tribunal claim for unfair dismissal.
The tribunal agreed that the dismissal was unfair. The employer had acted inconsistently by applying different sanctions. However, the compensatory award to W was ‘nil’. This is because, had the employer acted fairly, they would both have been dismissed and W would be in exactly the same position. To compound her misery further, W was subsequently convicted of assault in separate criminal proceedings.
This is a very good example of the care which should be taken in disciplinary proceedings. Although there was no compensation awarded in this case, the fact that the dismissal was found to be unfair is illustrative of the way tribunals will approach these cases. At Alpha, we are specialists at providing expert advice on how to conduct disciplinary processes. If you would like to have Alpha on your side, please feel free to contact us.
Martin Kaye have provided advice in some highly complex HR matters and they continue to provide our day to day HR advice through their "ALPHA" HR scheme. They offer a very commercial and pragmatic approach and we have always been impressed by the level of service. The members of staff are approachable and easy to deal with.
Eurofilms Extrusion Ltd
Martin Kaye have provided us with employment and HR advice for several years and we have been very pleased with the level of service and quality of advice provided. We have no hesitation in recommending the team to any organisation which wishes to manage its employment related enquiries.
D Wauchope, Company Secretary
McPhillips (Wellington) Ltd
As a large employer of cleaning personnel, we require expert and prompt employment related advice. Martin Kaye's "ALPHA" service provides this in a clear and robust manner. We have been extremely impressed with the service and would thoroughly recommend them to any employer requiring expert HR & employment support.
J Conry, Chairman
It is important for us to create a close relationship with our advisors. Martin Kaye's "ALPHA" HR service is excellent. It enables us to work closely with our lawyers particularly in the complex area of employment law.
Johnny Hobeika, Operations Manager
Sanita (UK) Ltd
ALPHA is an excellent, reliable, professional service which is an integrated part of our business that we could not do without. This service is part of our structure and provides staff and business with the professional HR Support it requires - Invaluable
Martin Kaye are rated
out of 5
based on 20 testimonials.