Court of Appeal gets personal over unfair dismissal

Dismissing someone purely on the basis of their personality is not illegal, the Court of Appeal ruled last week.

The court rejected a claim for unfair dismissal from a senior employee within an NHS trust who was dismissed because of his behaviour.

The employee had a number of years’ experience as a finance director and was capable at his job, but he refused to entertain requests for assistance from other departments, the court heard.

His negative attitude upset a number of colleagues and he was eventually dismissed on the grounds of his conduct.

Following his dismissal, he claimed compensation as the trust was unable to name any rules that he had broken and he had received no warnings.

But the court ruled that his personality was, in fact, a sufficient reason for dismissal.

Michael Ball, employment partner at Halliwells, said: “While he was not guilty of misconduct the fact his colleagues had found him near impossible to work with was in itself a substantial enough reason for the dismissal to stand.

“This is good news for employers,” he said.

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