Should I stay or should I go: dismissal fair despite disregard for appeal panel’s conclusion

A small fire broke out in a children’s nursery. The claimant was accused of having tried to start the fire and, following an investigation and disciplinary hearing, was dismissed for gross misconduct.

The claimant indicated that she wished to appeal against the decision and the employer, which was a small organisation, arranged for the appeal to be conducted by an independent external body. Whether the appeal panel or the employer itself would take the final decision about the claimant’s employment was not expressly agreed, although the employee was told that the decision made at the hearing would be final and that there would be no further right of appeal…

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