Twitter and unfair dismissal

Interesting reading from the Appeal Tribunal (EAT) as they overturn a rather inexplicable unfair dismissal decision by a tribunal. In this case, the employee was the manager in charge of limiting risk for the 100 stores owned by this employer. He set up a Twitter feed that could be seen by both staff and customers and was promptly “followed” by 65 stores. Soon after, the manager began sending offensive tweets which are probably not appropriate for repeating here, but can be read for yourself at paragraph 13 of the judgement (link below). The manager was dismissed and had the front to make a claim for unfair dismissal. We are surprised to note that the tribunal found this to be unfair. Their reasoning was that it was a private Twitter account. The Appeal Tribunal overturned this saying that it did not matter that it was a private Twitter account, the comments (that really were quite offensive) could and were being seen by staff and customers alike. That should be enough. Enjoy reading the case at the following link: http://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKEAT/2014/0188_14_0311.html Back to legal...

Working elsewhere while claiming sick pay

A Court of Appeal case recently published has highlighted a problem which is more common than one would think, that being employees who are signed off sick but doing other work while getting sick pay. Helpfully the decision can be summarised very briefly. The Appeal Court has ruled that employees partaking in such work while off sick will usually be gross misconduct. However, the Court reminded us that we cannot say this is automatically so, as to do this would be failing to consider any mitigating circumstances. However, subject to such considerations, it seems fairly safe to say that this is gross misconduct. Once an employer has decided it occurred, they can conclude there is a case to say that this is gross misconduct and invite the employee to a disciplinary hearing. But before dismissing, they must think about any mitigating circumstances, remorse, length of service etc. Provided the employer does this it should be on safe ground. The full case, which considers additional matters too (for the insomniacs amongst you) can be read at the following link: http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2014/1626.html Back to legal...