Unfair Dismissal: Charges Must be Precise
In Celebi v Scolarest Compass Group Ltd, the EAT found that the 'loss of £3,000' is not the same as 'theft of £3,000' and consequently Ms Celebi’s dismissal was unfair. The employer believed that Ms Celebi had stolen £3,000. The allegation put to her in the disciplinary proceedings, though, was the 'loss of £3,000'. A disciplinary hearing found her guilty of 'loss' and she was dismissed. Ms Celebi knew she was actually being accused of theft, but despite this, the dismissal was unfair.
The case has been remitted to the Tribunal for consideration of the compensation award and whether there should be any reductions for contributory fault etc.. However, the case goes to show that when setting out the allegations in a disciplinary process, great care should be taken to describe the allegations clearly and accurately.
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