cannot be liable for loss post-dismissal caused by a third party
Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust v Roldan, the EAT ruled that an employer is
only liable for losses it has caused its ex-employee, not those caused by third
party action, such as a criminal prosecution which prevents that employee from
allegations that she had been seen mistreating a patient, Ms Roldan was dismissed
from her position as a nurse working in an intensive care unit following an
investigation, which produced evidence from the healthcare assistant who had witnessed
what had happened, and a full disciplinary hearing.
tribunal decided the dismissal was unfair as there had been no proper investigation.
It awarded Ms Roldan compensation of over £20,000, for her losses for a 14
month period, which included a period when Ms Roldan faced prosecution by the
CPS for her actions, and was on bail – a situation which ended with her
eventual acquittal in the Crown Court.
EAT overturned both of the tribunal’s decisions. On close scrutiny of the
evidence, there were no procedural defects to render the dismissal unfair and
on this basis the case would need to be re-heard. Furthermore the tribunal was
wrong to award 14 months’ losses. Losses flowing from the dismissal should only
have been for 6 weeks. After that time, the reason that Ms Roldan could not
work was due to the prosecution mounted against her. That was out of the hands
of the Trust. The acts of the police in charging and of the CPS in prosecuting
her were matters which affected her ability to work, but were not the direct
consequence of acts attributable to the employer.
This provides summary information and comment on the subject areas covered. Where employment tribunal and appellate court cases are reported, the information does not set out all of the facts, the legal arguments presented and the judgments made in every aspect of the case. Employment law is subject to constant change either by statute or by interpretation by the courts. While every care has been taken in compiling this information, we cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. Specialist legal advice must be taken on any legal issues that may arise before embarking upon any formal course of action.