Beware – ALWAYS follow a Fair Procedure

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A Head Chef, James Harvey, whose employer was the Fermain Valley Hotel in Guernsey, was convicted of grievous bodily harm in April 2014 for biting two Police officers and then spitting the blood of his victims over other Police officers. He was given an 18 months’ prison sentence.

The Hotel dismissed him whilst he was in prison and he took them to an Employment Tribunal for failing to follow the correct dismissal procedure and was awarded compensation of £11,156!

The Tribunal considered that the Hotel had a potentially fair reason to dismiss Mr Harvey but was criticised for not carrying out its own investigation into the incident and for not interviewing the chef whilst he was in prison to hear his version of events.

The official tribunal ruling read: “The tribunal was persuaded that the complete absence of a disciplinary process with no right of appeal did not fall within the band of reasonable responses open to an employer in justifying the fairness of a summary dismissal on the grounds of gross misconduct for a first disciplinary offence.”

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