Mr Chris Jones, 42, worked at the Cooper Teeside BMW and Mini Bodyshop in Newcastle. He started work there as a car valeter in 1996 and was later promoted to body shop estimator and administrator. He was dismissed from his job in 2011 after his manager, Mr Daniel Crow, suspended him for accessing the worksite without permission. Mr Jones subsequently resigned, took employment law advice from unfair dismissal solicitors, and submitted a claim for unfair dismissal to the Employment Tribunal.
The Employment Tribunal found that Mr Crow, who had joined the garage in 2010, started “gunning for” Mr Jones from the time he took over as manager. He would unjustifiably criticize Mr Jones’ performance, accused him of stealing a set of car keys, and accused Mr Jones of not asking for support for his workload. The matter came to a head in 2011 when Mr Crow suspended Mr Jones for accessing the worksite, as above, without permission. Mr Jones claimed that he had been working late to get ahead for the next day but Mr Crow ignored this. Mr Jones went on to assert that he had always had the keys to lock the garage up and that Mr Crow had frequently asked him whether he was going to lock up. He was therefore surprised when Mr Crow made this U-turn and suspended him.
The Employment Tribunal Judge, Judge Garnon, agreed with Mr Jones that this was a common practice, stating that this was a “rock solid answer”. He went on to state that the Claimant was in a “no-win situation” as Mr Jones would be criticized for working late but was also criticized for any backlog of paperwork. Judge Garnon also did not believe that there was adequate support in place for Mr Jones to manage his workload – Mr Jones justifiably believed that he would be victimised if he asked for such support. The Employment Tribunal therefore found in Mr Jones’ favour in his claim for constructive unfair dismissal.
Winning an unfair dismissal claim
If you think that you’ve got a claim for unfair dismissal then you should read our page on how to submit an Employment Tribunal claim. To succeed in a claim for unfair dismissal you will have to show that the dismissal was:
- Procedurally unfair; and
- Substantively unfair