- Unfair dismissal: 'manner' of carrying out health and safety activity is rarely separable from that activity (Sinclair v Trackwork Ltd)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What is the background?
- Relevant law
- Background facts
- Decision of the employment tribunal
- What did the EAT decide?
- Case details
Employment analysis: A dismissal is automatically unfair under section 100(1)(a) of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA 1996) where the reason (or principal reason) for dismissal is that, having been designated by the employer to carry out activities in connection with preventing or reducing risks to health and safety at work, the employee carried out (or proposed to carry out) any such activities. The mischief which section 100(1)(a) seeks to guard against includes the fact that carrying out health and safety activities will often be resisted, or regarded as unwelcome, by other colleagues. It would therefore wholly undermine that protection if an employer could rely upon the upset caused by the manner in which legitimate health and safety activity is carried out as a reason for dismissal that was treated as separate to the activity itself, save for where those activities were carried out in a malicious or extraneous way that was irrelevant to the task in hand, according to the EAT.
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