Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

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

In the case of Dean v John Reid & Sons (Strucsteel) Ltd ET/1400458/2017 the Employment Tribunal held that Mr Dean had been unfairly dismissed by his employer

The facts in Dean v John Reid & Sons (Strucsteel) Ltd

John Reid & Sons (Strucsteel) Ltd (“John Reid”) is a large family-owned company which is a specialist contractor in the design, sale and construction of steel-framed buildings.

Mr Dean was a project manager. He commenced working for the company in 2014 and performed well, scoring 88% in his last appraisal.

In 2016 Mr Dean, although happy with his job, placed his CV with a company called “CV Library”. He was not actively seeking a job but thought that his career progression would be assisted by doing so. CVs are stored on CV Library on the basis that they are shown to subscribers but may not be released to the employer of a candidate (or to anyone else) without the candidate’s express permission.

At approximately the same time John Reid was looking to recruit more people to fulfil the role occupied by Mr Dean, and recruited a headhunter to help them do so. The headhunter had a subscription to CV Library and came across Mr Dean’s CV.

The headhunter disclosed to Simon Boyd (Managing Director at John Reid) that Mr Dean’s CV was on CV Library (violating the terms of confidentiality) and on 18 October 2016 Mr Boyd summoned Mr Dean to his office to explain this issue. Mr Boyd subsequently suspended Mr Dean on the same day on the basis that Mr Dean had breached confidentiality by disclosing on his CV that John Reid worked in certain countries. Mr Boyd subsequently commenced the company’s disciplinary procedure and convened a disciplinary hearing for 24 October 2016.

John Reid investigated the allegations against Mr Dean in the course of one day, with these investigations consisting of Mr Boyd asking Human Resources to investigate and report. The two disciplinary allegations that Mr Boyd asked to be investigated were as follows: firstly, “that Wayne Dean has been actively seeking employment elsewhere whilst our in our by uploading his personal VB to an active job searching website” and, secondly, “Wayne Dean has been in breach of the company’s confidentiality arrangements by disclosing sensitive market areas where we currently work and other areas we are actively developing future markets.”

The conclusion of the investigation was that there was a case to answer on Mr Dean’s behalf, as it was found that CV Library only took CVs from people who were actively seeking employment and that the disclosure of John Reid’s activities on his CV conflicted with his contract of employment and stand-alone confidentiality agreement.

Mr Cook subsequently took the decision to dismiss Mr Dean on allegations that he had breached confidentiality, and found that this allegation constituted gross misconduct. Mr Dean appealed but his appeal was dismissed.

The decision of the Employment Tribunal in Dean v John Reid & Sons (Strucsteel) Ltd

The Employment Tribunal upheld Mr Dean’s claim for unfair dismissal, holding that there had been a failure to carry out a reasonable investigation and that Mr Boyd did not have a genuine and reasonable belief in the allegations.

Our solicitors’ view on Dean v John Reid & Sons (Strucsteel) Ltd

Chris Hadrill, a specialist employment solicitor at Redmans, commented on the case: “Employers must ensure that disciplinary processes are carried out fairly, with a reasonable investigation undertaken and, on the back of that investigation, a fair and reasonable decision made to dismiss. A failure to do so can potentially mean that a former employee may succeed with a claim for unfair dismissal (should they have sufficient qualifying service to make such a claim.”

The judgments of the Employment Tribunal 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 first name (required)

Your last name (required)

Your email (required)

Your telephone number (required)

Brief details of your enquiry

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

4.77 Average

205 Reviews

Gary P

All good advice, prompt and efficient

Posted 6 hours ago

Anonymous

Excellent advice and customer service.

Posted 1 month ago

Aneet G

I would definitely recommend Redmans. Very impressed with service provided. They were extremely proactive in handling my case which made things easier for me. Provided sound advice and resolution. Special credit for this goes to Chris who dealt with my case with great determination and consideration.

Posted 1 month ago

Fern M

Very efficient and friendly

Posted 1 month ago

Neville S

A professional and friendly service, which I would highly recommend.

Posted 1 month ago

Daniel T

Extremely helpful and made a bad situation much more manageable. Where other solicitors seemed disinterested in my situation Redmans immediately made me feel like it was a team effort to achieve a more favourable outcome

Posted 1 month ago

Paul T

Excellent, quick and informative. Chris was a real star and gave me confidence during the uncertainty if a redundancy settlement.

Posted 1 month ago

Marina E

Felt in very capable hands was listened to and given excellent advice. Would not hesitate to recomend and use again if needed.

Posted 1 month ago

Rosa B

Fabulous service all round.

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

Redmans were quick to respond to my enquiry and dealt with my case professionally and personably. I received sound advice and was put at ease by Chris Hadrill, Partner.

Posted 1 month ago

Alkhas K

Excellent service.

Posted 1 month ago

Mathias G

Contacted them regarding my end of employment agreement. Chris Hadrill dealt with it and was done and handed back to employer same day more than happy with there service.

Posted 2 months ago

Mark W

Most professional from start to finish offering very a personal service. Most impressive and quick when dealing with the matters in hand.

Posted 3 months ago

Anonymous

Posted 3 months ago

submit

I am very glad I came across Redmans Solicitors. Fantastic service!

Posted 3 months ago

Anonymous

Fantastic communication, always happy to answer queries, highly recommended.

Posted 3 months ago

Wavenie B

They were very straight to the point, friendly and understanding people. I felt they had my best interest. They were easy to get hold of, replies were almost instant. 5/5 for customer service

Posted 3 months ago

Christina P

Caroline was fantastic to work with - extremely knowledgeable, supportive, thorough and honest. I definitely recommend Redmans!

Posted 3 months ago

Anonymous

Very well done and fast support. Professional and reliable. Highly recommended!

Posted 3 months ago

Helene L

They were very knowledgable in the respected area in terms of change in law/regulations that is crucial for the clients who are seeking for legal arvice.

Posted 3 months ago

Sara R

Very helpful and wonderful advice

Posted 3 months ago