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Dismissing an employee: previous warnings

The EAT has provided some general guidance about the factors that employment tribunals are entitled to take into account when considering the effect of valid warnings on the fairness of a conduct dismissal. For example, where a warning is valid:

  • The tribunal should take into account the fact of the warning.
  • The tribunal is not generally permitted to find out that the warning should not have been issued, or that a lesser warning should have been issued instead.
  • It is not wrong for a tribunal to take into account an employer’s treatment of similar matters relating to other employees.
  • A final written warning always implies that further misconduct of whatever nature will be met with dismissal, unless the terms of the contract provide otherwise or the circumstances are exceptional.

This checklist sets out the steps a business should follow if it is considering dismissing an employee.

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