The Employment Appeal Tribunal have recently considered whether it is reasonable for an employer to dismiss an employee when asked to do so by a third party without having first considered whether the request is justified.
The EAT have recently said No. In this case (Bancroft v Interserve) the Respondent had a contract with the Home Office to provide catering to a bail hostel. Under the terms of the contract the Home Office could ask the catering company to remove any of its staff whose “admission would be undesirable” without having to give reasons. This they duly did when the Claimant in this case and the Manager of the hostel fell out. The Claimant was then dismissed without any enquiry into the justification of the request from the Home Office. Although his claim failed in the Employment Tribunal he succeeded in the EAT. The EAT found that the employer must consider whether there will be an injustice to the employee and the extent of that injustice before making a decision to dismiss. In particular the EAT found that the Employment Tribunal had not properly enquired whether the Respondent had done “everything they could to mitigate the injustice caused by the third party’s request that the Claimant no longer work on their premises”. The case was remitted back to the Employment Tribunal to be heard again.