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Heat of the moment comment about shooting a colleague did not justify dismissal

Makbool Javaid

In Pemberton v Timpson Limited, P’s team leader (TL) suggested to P during a telephone call that the business might be able to cope without replacing an individual who had just been dismissed. P said: “I swear to God if you say that I want to f*****g shoot you, not under any f*****g circumstances say that in passing to anybody because you’d be my own worst enemy doing that”. The TL complained stating that he did not think that P would actually shoot him, and he was not scared, but was being given a powerful message to keep quiet. P was dismissed and the ET decided it was unreasonable given all the circumstances. P had expressed sorrow and regret on several occasions, the TL had said that the threat had not scared him, P had long service and an unblemished disciplinary record, given the context, the threat was not one of violence in reality, there was no reason to suppose that such misconduct would be repeated or that P could not be trusted to continue to perform his role.

The updates are kindly provided by Simons Muirhead & Burton Law firm

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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