The case of Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust v Roldan has been heard in the COA. It has been determined that, in an unfair dismissal misconduct case, an employment tribunal should take into account the seriousness of the consequences for the employee of a finding of unfair dismissal in deciding whether the employer’s investigation into the alleged misconduct was fair.
Ms Roldan was a Filippiino nurse who worked for the NHS from 2003 until her dismissal in 2007 for mistreating a patient. She won an unfair dismissal claim for want of a proper investigation. The COA ruled that the Tribunal was entitled to find the dismissal unfair and examined what are the pre-requisites of a ‘reasonable investigation’.
Case law has established that an employer must carry out as much investigation as is reasonable ‘in all the circumstances’ of the case. In this case, the COA said that ‘in all the circumstances’ includes the fact that she had 4 years good service and that there was a real risk her career would be blighted by the dismissal if found to be unfair. A finding that the dismissal was fair could lead to deportation.
One to bear in mind when the fairness of the dismissal rests on a finding as to the adequacy of the investigation.