1. Shrestha v Genesis
In Shrestha v Genesis the employee was dismissed for falsifying mileage claims but argued that the employer should have fully investigated each journey, rather than taking a representative sample.
A dismissal for misconduct will be fair if, at the time of the dismissal, the employer held a reasonable belief, on reasonable grounds, after a reasonable investigation, that the employee had carried out the misconduct (British Homes Stores v Burchell). In Shrestha, the Court of Appeal would not extend the Burchell test to require the employer to investigate the employee’s defence so minutely. When looking at it as a whole, a reasonable investigation had been carried out.
2. Williams v Leeds United
In Williams v Leeds United, the High Court held that the employer was entitled to dismiss a senior manager without notice for sending emails containing pornographic images from his work account. This was even though: the emails were sent over five years ago; the employer had instructed forensic investigators to find evidence of gross misconduct to avoid paying 12 months’ notice; and the most dangerous email to a junior female employee was not discovered until after the dismissal.
The employer only found out about the emails the day after it had notified Mr Williams of his redundancy. It was nevertheless entitled to change the redundancy dismissal to one without notice. The court said that, if the employer had known about the emails when it sent out this notice of redundancy, it would have affirmed the breach and could not have then relied upon the pornography to dismiss summarily.