Taskforce (Finishing & Handling) Limited v Love, EAT (Scotland)

Redundancy – right to be accompanied
Taskforce (Finishing & Handling) Limited v Love, EAT (Scotland),
20 May 2005

Love was employed as a machine operator. The company’s managing director met with Love twice to consult with him regarding his potential redundancy. At a third meeting, it was confirmed that his employment was being terminated on the grounds of redundancy. Love appealed and although no appeal hearing was held, the managing director wrote to Love, responding to each of his appeal points.

Love brought a successful unfair dismissal claim disputing that there was a real redundancy situation. The tribunal found, inter alia, that Love had not been invited to bring a representative with him to any of the meetings and that the appeal should have been determined by a separate individual. However, the company successfully appealed to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) on the grounds that the tribunal had not made any clear findings as to the reason for the dismissal.

The EAT held that it would be wrong to determine that a dismissal was unfair on account of a failure to inform an employee of their right to be accompanied, since no such right existed. The EAT also held that it would be wrong to find that a redundancy dismissal was unfair, because of the failure to provide an employee with an appeal hearing or because an appeal hearing was conducted by the same person as took the original redundancy decision. This case pre-dated the new statutory dispute resolution procedures (SDP). Department of Trade and Industry guidance says the statutory right to be accompanied now extends to all meetings pursuant to the SDP.

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