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Firefighter given £12,000 pay-out despite unfair dismissal claim being dismissed

Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton

In the case of Staines v North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service a North Yorkshire firefighter, Philip Staines, was sacked for calling a short, homosexual colleague “half a man”. However, Staines has been awarded more than £12,000 because of the way his employer dismissed him without notice in 2020.

Staines was also found to have referred to a female fire fighter who he worked with as “b***h” on three separate occasions.

Although an internal investigation concluded that Mr Staines had breached the service’s Code of Conduct, Bullying and Harassment policy and organisational values, the tribunal in Leeds also ruled his conduct had not been so bad that he should have been dismissed without notice – despite him being on a written warning at the time.

The tribunal  agreed that the delay between the appeal submission and the hearing was unreasonable, which was in breach of the Acas code of practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures and that because of this breach, the tribunal ordered the North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service to pay Staines a £11,538 payment in lieu of notice and £625 in holiday pay. His claim for unfair dismissal was dismissed.

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