Mr Claridges was employed by an art supply company as a team leader. He had worked at the company for 34 years and had an unblemished record. An incident occurred in 2006 where his manager observed him leaving his post on a production line on a few occasions. The following week he was summoned to a meeting with his manager, and he was warned that unless his performance improved he would be demoted. He then took a period of sick leave.
Whilst he was on sick leave the company appointed someone internally to cover his position. Mr Claridge issued three grievances, all claiming that he had been demoted. The company offered to hold a grievance meeting, but in the event, it did not take place for several months.
When it finally did take place the grievance was not upheld as the company found that he had not been demoted. Mr Claridge resigned and claimed constructive dismissal on the basis that his grievance had been dealt with improperly and with delay.
The employment tribunal found that the company’s handling of the grievance although not perfect fell within the band of reasonable responses open to it in relation to the grievance procedure.
The Employment Appeal Tribunal upheld the tribunal’s decision. The case provides further authority that the way in which a grievance is handled will not in itself destroy the relationship of trust and confidence and therefore constitute a constructive dismissal, provided it falls within the band of reasonable responses open to an employer.
Claridge v Daler Rowney Ltd