Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

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

The Scottish appeal of Northbay Pelagic v Colin Anderson concerns a Respondent company, Northbay Pelagic, which had directors from associated shareholding companies. One of these directors was Mr Colin Anderson, the Claimant. He and his father, through their companies, had a minority interest in Northbay Pelagic. Mr Anderson was dismissed in 2016 for alleged misconduct. There were five grounds of dismissal:

  1. That Mr Anderson did not act in the best interests of the Respondent, as he had stopped contractors at the Respondent’s site using certain building materials belonging to his father’s company;
  2. That he disobeyed an instruction from the other directors not to correct a misreporting of the weight of certain fish to HMRC;
  3. That he failed to disclose the password of his computer to the Respondent;
  4. That he set up a covert camera in his office to monitor the Respondent; and
  5. That he attended the workplace after his suspension after being advised not to in his suspension letter.

The grounds of appeal

Ground 1 – Best interest of the respondent

Mr Anderson stopped the contractors from using the materials which belonged to Anderson Construction Ltd, a company owned by Mr Anderson’s father. The Respondents asserted that this meant he was acting in the interests of his father’s company over the Respondent company. However, the Tribunal ruled that Mr Anderson was, if anything, acting in the Respondent’s best interests, as Anderson Construction had a over the materials, and by preventing the contractors from using them, it allowed a deal to be struck whereby they could be used in future.

The EAT agreed with the Tribunal’s decision.

Ground 2 – Disobeying the instruction of the other directors

In a telephone conference, Mr Anderson was told not to pursue HMRC to correct a misreporting of the weight of certain fish which had been caught. Despite this, Mr Anderson saw to it that HMRC were alerted. The Tribunal concluded that dismissal on this ground had been unfair, as they interpreted that it could not be said that by advising HMRC of the correct weight, Mr Anderson had engaged in misconduct.

The EAT took a different view, ruling that, as it was an instruction from his fellow directors, Mr Anderson, although he disagreed with the Respondent’s direction, was bound to follow it. He was not at liberty either as director or employee to “do his own thing”.

Ground 3 – Failure to disclose his password

The Respondent also dismissed the Claimant because he failed to disclose the password for his computer to the Respondent. The password was not an email or internet password but the password that gave access to the computer he used at work and hence to information stored on it.  The Tribunal concluded that this was insufficient to dismiss Mr Anderson, as he was not obliged to co-operate if he had reasonable grounds to be suspicious of the Respondent’s intentions.

Ground 4 – Covert camera

For much the same reasoning as ground 3, the Tribunal decided that the fact Mr Anderson had set up a covert camera in his office was not reasonable grounds to dismiss him, as he thought he was the only one with access, and was reasonably suspicious of the Respondent.

Ground 5 – Entering the premises

This ground fell away, as the Respondent agreed that parking his car on the forecourt did not constitute “entering the premises”


The EAT remitted back to the Tribunal to consider of new Ground 2.

Link to judgment: https://www.gov.uk/employment-appeal-tribunal-decisions/northbay-pelagic-ltd-v-mr-colin-anderson-ukeats-slash-0029-slash-18-slash-jw

Tagged with →  

Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

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

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


    4.80 Average

    370 Reviews

    Glyn B

    Provided a great service, covered all my requirements

    Posted 6 hours ago

    Fidel A

    Redmans Solicitors recently helped me navigate a recent employment termination settlement agreement. Chris Hadrill is very professional and you will be in good hands with him. I score Redmans 4 out of 5 because things had to move fast and felt the team member assigned to my case wasn't very responsive at times. Having said that, I was very happy with the outcome and have no hesitation in recommending their services.

    Posted 23 hours ago

    Nigel A

    Chris Hadrill is hugely impressive - the right blend of assured calm and savvy professionalism. I've already recommended him to friends and family.

    Posted 1 day ago

    Matt O

    I was hugely impressed with the ease of being able to work with Redmans Solicitors and their professional approach. Mel was really clear around the process, and costings required and I felt comfortable throughout. I would certainly recommend.

    Posted 1 day ago

    Bryan G

    Great response, and also happy to assist

    Posted 1 day ago

    David L

    I was made a settlement offer by my employer to terminate my emplyment early. Redmans helped me understand the offer, and ensured that it was fair for someone in my position. They made a very stressful situation much easier. Excellent service.

    Posted 2 days ago


    I can highly recommend Redmans. The service was professional and prompt and I would not hesitate to use them again. Thanks

    Posted 1 week ago


    Overall I am satisfied with the performance from Redmans. The reason I have given 4 stars is that I had quite a lot difficulty in contacting the representative which was initially nominated for me. However, when I contacted Chris instead, he was excellent over the phone and secured a great outcome in short order. I would recommend Redmans Solicitors.

    Posted 1 week ago


    Chris and Redmans were a great help. Effective and efficient, quick response from my first enquiry and then straightforward and attentive throughout with ultimately a positive outcome. I will use them again and recommend them.

    Posted 1 week ago

    Marie P

    Great service, quick responses, good advice and all in a no nonsense, no jargon manner. Would definitely recommend.

    Posted 2 weeks ago


    Rana was amazingly thorough and professional!

    Posted 2 weeks ago


    I am extremely happy with the legal advice I was provided with. My case was resolved to the best of my expectations. Thank you very much for your professional help.

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Shahzad R

    Chris and his team were excellent. They provided sound advice and consultation that resulted in more cash than was offered. Would definitely recommend.

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Sanjay B

    I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mel Chin, for all her support during my settlement process. Where she provided a professional service and was understanding. I would confidently recommend Redmans Solicitors to my friends and family. Thank you and wishing you all a Merry Christmas.

    Posted 4 weeks ago

    Paul O

    Excellent response time and communication during my dealings with Redmans

    Posted 1 month ago

    Gil T

    I don’t normally write reviews, but thought it was time on this occasion. Just wanted to say that I highly recommend Redmans - especially Rana Tandon, who helped me navigate around my employment contract. Rana was meticulous and thorough and all over my needs. Would I use Redmans again ? ..absolutely

    Posted 1 month ago

    Stephanie D

    Very thorough and professional service. I was very nervous about my employment case, as I had never dealt with anything like it before. However, the solicitors who handled my case made sure I understood everything. I was never kept in the dark and Redmans kept me constantly informed about what was going on with my case. I would definitely recommend Redmans Solicitors

    Posted 1 month ago

    Richard S

    Chris and Sacha were great throughout the entire process. Chris was very helpful once the initial discussions with my company began and before we agreed there was a case. Sacha was very responsive, patient and helpful throughout ensuring I felt I had the right information to make the best decision on next steps. A close friend and wife have both used Redmans in the past few years for unfair dismissals and the service continues to be first-class and I would strongly recommend them again. They definitely help reduce the anxiety that comes with uncertainty around new processes and situations. Thank you!

    Posted 1 month ago


    Very nice and patient went through the whole document with me.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Susan L

    Very helpful and led me through the redundancy process.

    Posted 1 month ago


    I was very impressed with the service that I received, and the speed in which it was handled. I would recommend them to a family member

    Posted 1 month ago