Employer's question: the right to appeal a redundancy dismissal

14 Sep 2021

When making redundancies, do you have to offer the right to appeal?

Most employers will as a matter of course offer a redundant employee the right to appeal against their dismissal, however not all will, for a variety of reasons. 

In the recent case of Gwynedd Council v Barratt, the Council was closing down a secondary school and replacing it with a new primary and secondary community school. The teachers were put at risk and given the chance to apply for roles at the new school. The Claimants were PE teachers and they were not successful in their applications for the new roles and as a result made claims for unfair dismissal, which were successful, partly because they were not offered the right of appeal against their dismissals. 

Appeals by the Council to the Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) and Court of Appeal were unsuccessful. In its judgment the Court of Appeal looked at the issue of whether a failure to offer an appeal will automatically lead to a finding of unfair dismissal. The Court held that a failure to offer an appeal does not automatically render a dismissal unfair, however there were various factors in this particular case which did make the dismissals unfair – the failure to offer an appeal was just one of the factors, along with the failure to carry out meaningful consultation with the PE teachers. 

It is common practice, and best practice, to offer the right to appeal against a redundancy dismissal. If you are considering not doing so, tread carefully, particularly where you have an employee with over two years service who therefore has unfair dismissal protection. 

If you have a further enquiry relating to the issues highlighted above, please contact Greg Burgess by phone on 01293 558 547 or by email.

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