Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

In the case of Mr M Ali v Indian Cuisine Limited (2206359/2018), the Employment Tribunal (‘ET’) upheld the Claimant’s claim that he had been automatically unfairly dismissed because he had made a protected disclosure about his employer’s chef using chicken stock cubes in halal, vegan and vegetarian dishes.

The facts in Mr M Ali v Indian Cuisine Limited

Mr Ali (the ‘Claimant’) commenced employment with Indian Cuisines Limited (the ‘Respondent’) on 30 May 2016 as an Assistant Manager.  The Respondent operated a group of restaurants called the Tamarin Collection, which included a restaurant called Tamarind of Mayfair, where the Claimant worked.  It was decided in January 2018 to close the restaurant for a refurbishment.  When the restaurant reopened, it was decided that there was to be a restructure and all the assistant mangers would be made redundant.  The Claimant was transferred during the refurbishment to work in Tamarin Kitchen in Soho, another restaurant in the Tamarin Collection.

A new Michelin star chef was employed to oversee the refit and reopening of the Tamarind of Mayfair.  He was based at the Tamarind Kitchen where he oversaw menu development.  During that time, he started to prepare and taste new dishes which included the use of chicken Knorr stock in halal, vegan and vegetarian dishes.  The Claimant was very concerned about this and customers being misled about the contents of dishes.

On 4 June 2018 the Claimant made a verbal request to a senior chef that the correct information be provided to waiters to ensure dishes were accurately described.  In response he was told that the new chef had confirmed that the information on the new menus was correct.  When he raised his concerns again, he was told to speak directly to the new chef.  Then on 11 June he sent an e-mail, copying in all the senior chefs and his line manager, explaining his concerns and asking for clarification of which meat dishes could be described as halal and whether they were using chicken stock in any of the vegetarian, vegan or fish dishes.  The email clearly stated the Claimant’s concerns about what ingredients were contained in various dishes and how dangerous it was to not disclose all of the ingredients to customers.

On 18 June 2018, the chef was asked directly about the use of chicken stock and the chef confirmed he was using it and did not want it disclosed to guests.  That same evening the issue was raised on the telephone with a director of the Respondent who replied that employees who had an issue with it ‘need to be phased out’.

On 2 July 2018 the Claimant was made redundant at a meeting, prior to which he was given no warning that he might be made redundant.  At the meeting or after there was no attempt to consult with the Claimant about his redundancy or find him suitable alternative employment. The Claimant appealed the decision to make him redundant, stating that the real reason he was made redundant was because of the concerns he had raised. An appeal meeting was held on 1 August 2018 but at the outset of that meeting the Respondent’s representative made it clear that it had been decided that the Claimant’s allegations were unfounded and would not be upheld.  As a result, the Claimant felt no need to proceed with the meeting and it lasted a mere five minutes.

The Claimant went on to make a claim for automatic unfair dismissal for making a protected disclosure in the Employment Tribunal.

The decision of the Employment Tribunal (ET)

The Et ruled that the Claimant was automatically unfairly dismissed for having made a protected disclosure.  The ET held that when the Claimant spoke to a chef initially expressing his concerns he made his first protected interest disclosure and his second by way of an e-mail on 11 June 2018.  The Respondent’s representative tried to argue that the e-mail on 11 June was merely asking questions, rather than disclosing information regarding a breach of a legal obligation, but the ET rejected that argument, as the e-mail clearly stated the Claimant’s concern about what ingredients were contained in various meals and how dangerous it could be to not disclose all the ingredients to customers and staff and to update the allergen menu. 

Whilst the ET accepted that in January 2018 the decision had been made to restructure, they held that the Claimant’s dismissal was accelerated by his protected interest disclosure.  His position was originally due to be made redundant in August after the return of a colleague whose leave he was covering, he was in fact made redundant a month earlier.

The ET went on to find that the Claimant would have been dismissed for reasons of redundancy in any event, and therefore limited the compensatory award to the one month’s pay he would have received if a fair and proper redundancy process had been followed.

Our solicitors’ views on the case of Mr Ali v Indian Cuisine Ltd

Sacha Barrett, a Senior Associate in the employment department at Redmans, made the following comment on the case: “This case illustrates the importance of employer’s investigating carefully any concerns raised by their employees about breaches of legal obligations and having proper whistle blowing procedures in place to deal with such complaints.”

The decision of the Employment Tribunal in Mr M Ali v Indian Cuisine Limited (2206359/2018) can be found here.

About

Redmans Employment Team deal with employment matters for both employers and employees, including drafting employment contracts and policies, advising employers and employees on compromise agreements, handling day-to-day HR issues, advising on restructures, and handling Employment Tribunal cases for both employers and employees Call 020 3397 3603 to speak to one of the members of our employment team or email us on enquiries@redmans.co.uk. Redmans have offices in Richmond, Chiswick, Hammersmith, Fulham, Kingston, Wimbledon, Ealing, Kings Cross and Marylebone (meetings strictly by appointment only).

Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

Share →

Our awards

Request a callback

Your name

Your email

Your telephone number

Contact us

Please feel free to discuss your own position and concerns. Contact your nearest office on:

T: 020 3397 3603
E: enquiries@redmans.co.uk
W: www.redmans.co.uk

Testimonials

4.76 Average

164 Reviews

Samantha K

Absolutely brilliant thank you. Caroline Lewis is a legend

Posted 1 week ago

Anonymous

The legal advice was clear and helpful.

Posted 1 week ago

Davinder P

Good Service

Posted 1 week ago

Adrian V

I was using Redmans services for a Settlement Agreement. Very quick and professional service. The outcome was favourable and I was very pleased with the amendments and results. Pretty glad to recommend them for any type of legal advice.

Posted 1 week ago

Anonymous

Very responsive, efficient, clear and supportive. Thank you! Highly recommend.

Posted 1 week ago

Tiago S

Chris was always prompt to help me with legal matters that are beyond my comprehension and very helpful leasing with my former employer. I would recommend Redmans Solicitors to everyone who needs help.

Posted 1 week ago

Anonymous

Fast and professional advice tailored to what was needed. Thanks for your help Chris Hadrill and team.

Posted 1 week ago

Peter S

Really pleased with the outcome and the advice I had from Chris and Sacha.

Posted 2 weeks ago

Harika A

Redmans solicitor's helped me with my settlement agreement, Chris has been very helpful throughout the process.He was very prompt in his responses and made my settlement look simple.Special thanks to Caroline for her efficient communication, thorough explaination of contract terminology and negotiations.I highly reccommend Redmans solicitors for anyone seeking employment related legal help.

Posted 2 weeks ago

Anonymous

Good and quick service

Posted 2 weeks ago

Ricky D

Very satisfying to be assured of such attention and professionalism.

Posted 2 weeks ago

Anonymous

Excellent service - thankyou

Posted 2 weeks ago

Anonymous

Efficient, timely and friendly support and advice

Posted 2 weeks ago

Ahmed S

They are always on hand when you need them and provide support even when its not necessary.

Posted 2 weeks ago

Nemen S

Wonderful experience.Chris was very responsive and provided an excellent service. A real professional who I would recommend to anyone

Posted 2 weeks ago

Anonymous

Their guidance was clear and they provided me with all the information I required. Friendly yet professional

Posted 2 weeks ago

Anonymous

Chris @ Redmans assisted me with an employment issue. Firstly, he was very proactive in coming back to my initial enquiry and then helped to clearly lay out the options that I had in relation to my position. He then assisted with the preparation of my case, which led to a very satisfactory outcome. I would highly recommend the quality of service & professionalism offered by Redmans Solicitors.

Posted 2 weeks ago

Anonymous

Great service

Posted 2 weeks ago

Anonymous

Chris was very effective and decisive in dealing with my matter. I felt guided, and the pressure to make decisions was taken off my shoulders; he knew what needed to be done and I was happy to follow his advice. The result of the legal dispute was a great success for me. He is also kind and personable. The only thing that I would say it could be improved, is the accuracy of cost estimation at the beginning: not many activites, that could not have been forseen had to take place, but costs went up more than double in the end. Overall very good and trustworthy. I would definately recommend and use Redmans services again.

Posted 2 weeks ago

Liz P

An excellent professional service was provided by Chris Hadrill and Mel Chin. Efficient and trustworthy - would highly recommend this company.

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

Redmans Solicitors were great. They were able to advice me quickly and efficiently! I would recommend them, as a good solicitors to use.

Posted 1 month ago