The EAT has considered the circumstances where a summary dismissal found not to amount to gross misconduct could be fair. The claimant was dismissed for returning a vehicle in a state the employer believed to be unsafe and brought a claim for unfair and wrongful dismissal.

The EAT found that although the claimant’s actions did not amount to gross misconduct the employer had followed a fair procedure and imposed a sanction which fell within the range of reasonable responses. However the claimant was entitled to damages for wrongful dismissal as the employer had not been entitled to dismiss the claimant summarily.

The case highlights the importance of following a fair procedure when dismissing an employee, as well as the need to carefully consider whether summary dismissal is the appropriate sanction.

Weston Recovery Services v Fisher