Can a warning given in bad faith be relied on for the purpose of determining whether there is sufficient reason to dismiss an employee?
No, held the Court of Appeal in Way v Spectrum Property Care Limited.
The Claimant was given a final written warning which he alleged was given in bad faith. The warning was taken into account by the Respondent in its decision to dismiss the Claimant for unrelated misconduct. The employment tribunal refused to hear evidence as to whether the warning was given in bad faith, and dismissed the claim for unfair dismissal.
The Court of Appeal found that an employer who took into account a warning given in bad faith would not be acting reasonably. The case was remitted to a fresh tribunal to consider whether the warning was given in bad faith, and in light of that, whether the dismissal was unfair.