Winckworth Sherwood

UK 200 2013 position: 94

Tribunals are able to consider the reasonableness of final written warnings in dismissal cases

In Adegobola (A) v Marks and Spencer plc (M&S), the Court of Appeal confirmed that an employment tribunal (ET) is able to consider the reasonableness of a final written warning when assessing the fairness of a dismissal.

Past case law states that although it is not the function of a tribunal to judge the matters on which a final written warning is based, in order for employers to legitimately rely on any such warning for dismissal, the tribunal must be satisfied that the warning was issued in good faith, there were prima facie grounds for imposing it and it was not manifestly inappropriate to issue it.

In this case, A, an M&S employee, was placed on a final warning after an incident with another employee. The warning stated that any further misconduct could result in A’s dismissal…

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