JMW responds to claims suggesting the Court of Appeal has rejected challenges to unfair dismissal laws

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Manchester solicitors firm JMW react to the Court of Appeal's response to reject a challenge to existing unfair dismissal law.

The Court of Appeal has elected to reject a challenge to existing unfair dismissal law, which suggested that the “band of reasonable responses” test should be modified to allow for unfair dismissal situations in which an employee’s rights under article eight of the European Convention on Human Rights are engaged.

The “band of reasonable responses” test is an objective test, carried out to determine the reasonableness of an employer’s actions.

The challenge was launched by Ms Turner, a former senior conductor with East Midlands Trains Ltd., who was dismissed for selling faulty tickets and keeping the proceeds (Turner v East Midlands Trains Ltd [2012] EWCA Civ 1470 CA).

The essence of Ms Turner’s argument was that the consequences of her dismissal infringed on her rights under article eight of the European Convention on Human Rights, the right to respect for private and family life. She argued that her reputation, ability to gain employment in future and social relationships had all been irrevocably tarnished by the verdict of dishonesty and her subsequent dismissal by East Midlands Trains Ltd.

After a period of consideration the Court of Appeal noted that case law dictates that, where an individual is directly responsible for the actions leading to his or her dismissal, article eight does not apply. The court also determined that the existing “band of reasonable responses” test was perfectly adequate in its current form.

Speaking about the ruling, Head of Employment at Manchester’s JMW Solicitors, Ian Tranter said: “To many people this entire situation will probably sound somewhat ridiculous.

“A tarnished reputation and difficulty finding another job sound more like the natural consequences of committing a crime against your employer, as opposed to an infringement of human rights.

“I feel the Court of Appeal has made the right decision here, however it’s important that we retain the flexibility to allow for challenges to the existing unfair dismissal law.

“Rather this, than employees being dismissed and having no forum to challenge those decisions.”

JMW Solicitors is a Manchester-based full service law firm. The firm employs a team of specialist employment law solicitors, which regularly advises businesses and employees regarding unfair dismissal issues. For more information, visit: http://www.jmw.co.uk/services-for-you/employment-law/.

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Ian Tranter
JMW
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