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 S Mohammad v Tesco Stores Limited (ET/1303590/2018) the Employment Tribunal held that the failure to check why an employee had not attended a rescheduled disciplinary hearing rendered the dismissal procedurally unfair.

The facts in Mr S Mohammed v Tesco Stores Limited

Mr S Mohammed (the ‘Claimant’) was employed by Tesco Stores Ltd (the ‘Respondent’) as a warehouse team member (a forklift truck driver) at the Respondent’s warehouse in Daventry.

On 20 December 2017 a female colleague made a complaint that she had been sexually harassed by the Claimant a couple of hours earlier. She alleged that the Claimant had followed her in his truck and made a sexual gesture with his tongue and that he had a history of pursuing her. For example, she alleged that over the last couple of years he had been calling her “sexy” on Facebook and asking people if he could be her boyfriend. She also stated in her complaint that she had asked him to stop but that he had not done so.

The Claimant was called into a meeting following the complaint and asked if he knew the woman in question; he was shown a photo but denied knowing her.  In the following investigation Facebook messages that were purportedly from the Claimant were produced to the Respondent by the female colleague who had made the complaint.

A further investigation meeting took place in February 2018 where the issue of the Facebook messages and account were discussed, along with the allegations of inappropriate comments he had made. The allegations against the Claimant were considered as possible gross misconduct and it was stated that the matter would be referred to a disciplinary hearing.   The Claimant was subsequently suspended on full pay.

The Claimant was, in a letter dated 11 January 2018, invited to a disciplinary hearing and informed the disciplinary allegations were likely to be considered as potential gross misconduct.

The Claimant was signed off work unfit during this period and the disciplinary hearing was, as a result, rescheduled to 16 February 2018. As a result of the Claimant’s sickness absence the meeting was rescheduled again to 22 March 2018. The Claimant was told that if he didn’t attend this meeting then the meeting would proceed as scheduled and a decision would be made in his absence. This letter letter was sent by Recorded Delivery.

The Claimant did not attend the meeting on 22 March 2018 and so the meeting proceeded in his absence. There was no evidence of any attempts by the Respondent to call the Claimant or to check whether the Recorded Delivery letter had been received.  The Claimant’s union representative attended without the Claimant and the chairman of the hearing decided, after reviewing the evidence, that the allegations were made out. It was further decided that the Claimant’s conduct amounted to gross misconduct.  The Claimant was summarily dismissed on 22 March 2018, and he was notified of such by way of a letter dated 27 March 2018. This letter also informed the Claimant that he had a right to appeal against the dismissal.

The Claimant appealed against the dismissal, and said that he did so by way of He was given a right of appeal. He said he received the dismissal letter on 6 April 2018 and appealed the same day: his only stated ground of appeal was that he had not received notice of the disciplinary hearing that had taken place on 22 March 2018, that no-one had called him, and that he was signed off work sick at the time. He did not, however, appeal against the findings made.

The disciplinary appeal hearing took place on the 27 April 2018 with the Claimant attending.  The meeting was adjourned to check the position with regard to the invite letter and reconvened on 3 May 2018. 

The Respondent confirmed that it didn’t appear that the letter had been delivered but it upheld its decision to dismiss the Claimant based on his failure in challenging the specific allegations.  This decision was confirmed on 3 May 2018 by letter of the same date. The Claimant was offered a further right of appeal but did not exercise this right.

The decision of the Employment Tribunal

The Employment Tribunal held that the Claimant had been unfairly dismissed based on the mishandling of the disciplinary process: the failure to check whether the Claimant had received the notice of the disciplinary hearing (of 22 March 2018) or to call him to check why he had not attended was unfair.

The Employment Tribunal dismissed the Claimant’s claim for unlawful deduction from wages.

Our solicitors’ views on the case of Mr S Mohammed v Tesco Stores Limited

Mel Chin, a Legal Executive at Redmans, commented on the case: “The failure of the employer to follow its own internal disciplinary procedures correctly resulted in a procedurally-unfair dismissal – this is another lesson for employers that they must exhaust all internal disciplinary proceedings fully before reaching a decision to dismiss an employee.”

The decision of the Employment Tribunal in Mr S Mohammad v Tesco Stores Limited (ET/1303590/2018) 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 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

    4.78 Average

    268 Reviews

    Anonymous

    Redmans Solicitors were consistently prompt, efficient and professional from the start of my reaching out to them for support in relation to contentious negotiations of an employment matter that continued for almost two months resulting in a positive settlement agreement. Chris Hadrill was diligent, thorough, empathetic and objective in his advice and guidance, showing deep and broad knowledge of the law and legal processes plus extensive practical experience in handling complex matters, resulting in clear and pragmatic advice in ambiguous circumstances that resulted in a very good outcome. I fully recommend Chris Hadrill and Redmans Solicitors! I have made this review anonymous purely because of the confidentiality obligations in the settlement agreement concluded.

    Posted 4 weeks ago

    Michelle W

    Redmans solicitors provided legal support and advice for a settlement agreement. Excellent customer service, very professional. The senior associate solicitor kept me updated throughout the process, showed empathy and the agreement was signed-off / completed within the agreed timeline.

    Posted 4 weeks ago

    Mark W

    Redmans Solicitors were extremely professional and helpful! Chris Hadrill handled my case and was an amazing help! His guidance, advice and understanding to my redundancy settlement were always clear, concise and very helpful and I am very grateful to him, and glad I found Redmans to help with my settlement. I highly recommend them!

    Posted 1 month ago

    Alison M

    Very happy with the advice I received

    Posted 1 month ago

    Margaret A

    I found everything about the company to be extremely professional and efficient. During my initial contact with Chris, he listened well and was reassuring, so I felt confident that my case would be well handled. Caroline was excellent at explaining all the legal points and answering my questions, as well as being very supportive and understanding throughout the process. I would definitely recommend this company.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Sanja K

    Very efficient and professional service.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

    I found the advice I was given by Redmans Solicitors to be clear and useful and found the solicitor on my case to be both knowledgeable and approachable.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Karen T

    Great service. Thank you.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

    Excellent service from Chris & Mel Chin. The best outcome was achieved from the redundancy process. They were extremely thorough, listened carefully and acted swiftly on my behalf. I highly recommend Redmans Solicitors

    Posted 1 month ago

    Shanine M

    Excellent service, thank you so much!

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

    I found Caroline and Chris very Helpful and provided excellent service. Caroline especially provided great legal advice and made me feel at ease with the whole process. I would highly recommend them. Thank you!

    Posted 1 month ago

    Gayle B

    Excellent company very professional would definitely recommend

    Posted 1 month ago

    Alex K

    Redmans provided an excellent service, timely and effective. Will definitely recommend.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

    Great job done on my employment law

    Posted 1 month ago

    Dominica S

    Caroline & Chris were very prompt and efficient.Very happy with the service and will definitely recommend Redmans Solicitor to everyone !

    Posted 1 month ago

    Sandra K

    If you are looking for a group of solicitors who are Professional, Caring and on point, then look no futher than Redmans. I was literally hand held through out my case. Can not find fault with this company, very happy with the result and the service i received. Would highly recommend Redmans.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

    I found dealing with Redmans a pleasure. I got to speak to someone quickly, the advice was profferred promplty and the service was not 'pushy'. In addition, the administration was excellent. What more could you ask for?

    Posted 1 month ago

    ALISDAIR L

    Redmans did a brilliant job regarding my redundancy agreement. I miss read an extra charge which wasnt the case so doing a new review to clarify. I would recommend Redmans for any employment law issues you may have.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Christos G

    Great legal advice and quick correspondence. Very supportive and helpful through the entire process. Thank you Redmans!

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

    Chris Hadrill advised me on a redundancy settlement agreement. He was very responsive, easy to deal with and gave me good advice at a stressful time.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Zara M

    Rana at Redmans gave me support and confidence I needed to ensure a wrong, was put right. I couldn’t recommend enough.

    Posted 1 month ago