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Motivation for manipulating evidence because of hostility to union activity could be attributed to employer 

Makbool Javaid

In Cadent Gas Limited v Singh. S missed the response time to get to a gas leak by a minute because he stopped for some food. H was involved in the investigation, with whom S had had difficulties in the past relating to his union activities, H  referred S’s trade union status in an email which he wanted to keep “on the radar” and gave incorrect information to HR and to the dismissing officer. W who dismissed S for gross misconduct and D who heard the appeal had no previous involvement in the case. An ET upheld S’s claim of automatically unfair dismissal because of his trade union activities. The EAT agreed, rejecting Cadent’s argument that as W and D were not motivated by prejudice against S for his trade union activities, H’s animosity to S could not be attributed to the employer.  While W and D were not motivated by prejudice, that did not preclude a finding that union activities played a part in their reasoning. The facts pointed to a manipulator scenario, i.e. H’s leading role was such that it was appropriate to attribute his motivation to the employer, even though that motivation might not be shared by W and D.


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This update 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 help judgments made in every aspect of the case. Click on the links to access full details. If no link is provided, contact us for more information.  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, SM&B 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.

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