Case law update: EEF successfully challenges ET over nil reduction to basic award for contributory fault

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Published

EEF has successfully challenged an Employment Tribunal’s finding that, whilst the employee’s conduct was seriously culpable, it was appropriate to make a nil reduction to the basic award for contributory fault. (The ET had made a 60% deduction for contribution to the compensatory award, which was unchallenged).

Decision

EEF took the case to the Employment Appeal Tribunal. The EAT found that, in making a nil reduction to the basic award, the majority of the ET had failed to attach any weight to the employee’s own conduct, clearly culpable though it was. Accordingly, the appeal was allowed and the basic award reduced by 30% for contributory fault.

Comment

The statutory provisions relating to contributory fault have been the subject of extensive judicial consideration. This finding is a useful reminder that, when assessing whether to make any reduction in the amount awarded by an ET for unfair dismissal, the ET is not concerned with the Respondent employer’s conduct, nor that of other employees – just the Claimant employee’s conduct. That said, the ET does have a wide discretion as to the factors it can take into account when deciding whether to make such reduction – including, in this case, the employee’s unblemished long service with the Respondent.

Read the judgment

Author

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