It is accepted law (Bristish Homes Stores Ltd v Burchell [1978] that when considering cases of unfair dismissal the Tribunal should not substitute its judgment for that of the employer and should consider whether the employer has acted within a band of ‘reasonable responses’.

This case concerned an admin worker at a community special school who was dismissed for intervening when staff restrained disruptive children.  The Tribunal decided that the dismissal was unfair and felt that no reasonable employer would have acted in such a way.

The school’s appeal was allowed on the basis that the tribunal had substitiuted its judgment about what it would have done about the employee’s intervention and that was not for it to do.  The employer was a unique school with unique problems and staff had been trained how to deal with the children whereas the employee had not.  The employer was entitled to take the view that the employee’s behaviour was inappropriate and exacerbated the situation.