Previous Article Next Article Case round-up by Eversheds 020 7919 4500When is a dismissal hearing a disciplinary hearing? Heathmill Multimedia ASP Limited v D Jones & M Jones, EAT 10 June The two Jones brothers were employed by Heathmill from spring 2001. Due toHeathmill’s financial difficulties, the brothers were called to a meeting inDecember 2001. They were given one month’s notice, but were not told the reasonfor their dismissal. The tribunal found that the reason for their dismissal was redundancy, andtherefore “it was not appropriate to follow the disciplinary route in dealingwith this matter”. Nevertheless, Heathmill had breached the EmploymentRelations Act 1999 by failing to allow the workers to be accompanied at theirdismissal meeting. The meeting fell within the statutory definition of a disciplinary hearing(S13(4) ERA 1996), as a hearing that could result in the “taking of someother action in respect of a worker by his employer”, and so they shouldhave been advised of their right to be accompanied by the dismissal officer.Heathmill was ordered to pay the brothers £480 each (the statutory maximum oftwo weeks’ pay). Heathmill appealed, arguing that the meeting was not a disciplinary hearing.The tribunal had already found that as the dismissal was by reason ofredundancy, there was no question of there being any disciplinary hearing. Ifthe purpose of the meeting was simply to inform the employees that they were tobe dismissed, then it was not a ‘hearing’ of any kind, and certainly not adisciplinary hearing within the statutory definition. The appeal was allowed, and the awards were discharged. Equal pay defence Kings College London v Clark, EAT 4 June  Clark was employed by Kings College as a scientific officer, grade 1. In1993, on merging with another college, Tate – a grade 3 post holder – transferredand joined Clark. TUPE applied to Tate’s transfer, and he continued to receive a higher salarythan Clark, as well as increased holiday entitlement. Clark consistentlycomplained they were engaged in ‘like work’, and should both be paid the sameamount. She brought a successful equal pay claim. The college accepted that she was employed in the same type of work as Tate.However, on appeal, it sought to challenge the tribunal’s rejection of itsdefence that the variation in pay was due to a material factor unconnected tothe difference in sex; ie, the need to preserve Tate’s terms and conditions onthe transfer of his employment in 1993. The appeal was allowed. The material factor defence had not been adequatelyconsidered by the tribunal. Although the college had undertaken a gradingreview in 1999, the employment tribunal accepted this did not break the chainof causation that stretched back to the earlier transfer, and the college’sobligations under TUPE. Related posts:No related photos. Case round upOn 14 Oct 2003 in Personnel Today Comments are closed.