Two news of the world journalists are making tribunal claims of unfair dismissal following them pleading guilty to hacking allegations.Yes that’s right – they were dismissed for gross misconduct & are bringing tribunal claims that their dismissals were unfair despite having pleaded guilty to & been charged for phone hacking!

This seems, from the information available so far, to be a sage reminder about the absolute necessity to follow a correct & fair procedure.

It has been ruled at a preliminary hearing that the News Group did not follow correct procedure or due process of the law as prior to the dismissal neither employee had been subject to any allegations by their employer that they had committed acts of gross misconduct, that no disciplinary investigation was carried out and that they were not given reasons for their dismissals.

We frequently remind employers that finding an employee holding the smoking gun often isn’t sufficient to dismiss – the procedure is crucial!

Furthermore the employees appear to be arguing that what they did was not gross misconduct but simply the culture of the organisation. Interesting argument & one we’ll watch closely to see what the judge thinks….


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