If an employee believes they have not been dismissed fairly, they may have the right to claim compensation on grounds of unfair or discriminatory dismissal. This would be after at least one year of continuous employment with an employer, where they may also be owed redundancy payment, or have the right to be paid for an unfulfilled contractual notice period.
Recently, when considering the fitness and propriety of individuals approved by the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority to work in certain positions in the financial services industry, the Employment Appeal Tribunal has ruled that employers may take credibility as a witness in tribunal proceedings into account.
Jefferies International Limited is a financial services company which was regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). They offer a number of different services including investment banking, equities, fixed income, asset and wealth management products and services.
The company operates in the primary sovereign debt markets, participating in debt issuances for the governments of Austria, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, and the United Kingdom and deals for the European Financial Stability Fund.
Milan Radia (the Claimant) was the Managing Director of Jefferies International Ltd (the Employer) and brought an Employment Tribunal claim against the Employer, which was dismissed as it was found that his evidence was “not credible in many respects”. They questioned his credibility, also variously describing his evidence as “evasive” and “misleading.” The claimant did not appeal this judgment and Mr Radia was then dismissed following the disciplinary hearing.
Moving forward, Milan Radia then lodged a second Employment Tribunal claim. During this tribunal, he claimed that his suspension, dismissal and the Employer’s decision not to hold an investigation hearing prior to his dismissal amounted to victimisation and unfair dismissal. He also stated that the Employer should not have dismissed him without holding an investigation hearing and should have allowed him to appeal the decision to dismiss.
Despite lodging a second unfair dismissal claim with Jefferies International Limited, the EAT once again disagreed with that finding, as they did not consider there was enough evidence to justify that decision. They found that the two phases of investigation and disciplinary are not a legal requirement for an employer and in the events, it was considered that the lack of the two stages, in this case, did not make the dismissal unfair.
What can you learn from this case?
If you are an employer, it is important to look at all of the possible circumstances when deciding if an employee is fit and proper for the role at hand. The case also shows that if a staff member falls short of that standard for FCA regulated persons, this can be grounds enough for dismissal.
There should always be correct procedures in place, as employers need to be careful when conducting appeals when they appear futile. All firms should have an even firmer grasp on the fit and proper person test. This is because the regime will require all firms to certify certain staff (rather than applying to the FCA for approval).
How can Nationwide Employment Lawyers help you?
As a law firm, we are a team of experienced and talented in-house employment law specialist in London who specialises in employment law. We completely appreciate how stressful and time-consuming it can be dealing with an employment law issue or an Employment Tribunal claim – which is why we are here to help you with employment law advice.
To understand the services we carry out in more detail, you are more than welcome to visit the Nationwide Employment Lawyers website today. Alternatively, you can call us on 020 8263 6080 and you can have an in-depth chat with our staff who can establish exactly what you are looking to achieve.