Unfair Dismissal in Northern Ireland: David Wardle v RMS Cash Solutions Ltd

Dylan Loughlin

Head(s) of Claim: Unfair Dismissal.

Relevant Law/Statue: Article 130 of the Employment Rights (Northern Ireland) Order 1996.

The judgment of the Northern Ireland Industrial Tribunals and the Fair Employment Tribunal.

The Claimant was employed by the Respondent for a period of 6 years when he was dismissed for gross misconduct on the 9th May 2019.

The facts of the case are as follows:

The man in question was engaged in the cash handling services of the business where he transports, delivers and collects sums of money from one location to the next as instructed. On the incident in question, the Claimant injured his bicep when carrying cash upstairs to complete a delivery.

The issue, in this case, deals directly with the procedural fairness during the disciplinary process and the open and honest threshold the Respondent did not meet.

The outstanding issues to be decided were:

  • Whether or not one discrepancy of this nature could amount to dismissal on the grounds of gross misconduct.
  • Does the withholding of information by the Respondent constituted as not acting in an open and neutral manner and bring with it a presumption of guilt of the Claimant?
  • Are the aforementioned points enough to establish a claim of unfair dismissal?

The tribunal established substantive unfair dismissal, the fact that the Respondent assumed that the Claimant was trying to establish a personal injury claim yet never put this accusation to the Claimant during disciplinary led to a pre-established presumption of guilt that led directly to his dismissal.

The falsification of documents, on which the Respondent relied on to dismiss the Claimant was deemed not deliberate but due to human error. This was because the Claimant had numerous other deliveries that day and subsequently changed his statement before being presented with the CCTV evidence.

The Tribunal awarded the Claimant the sum of £10,623.93.