Unfair dismissal ruling a ‘victory’ for employers

A Court of Appeal test case on unfair dismissal law has been hailed as a resounding victory for common sense.

The result of HSBC v Madden has brought to an end months of uncertainty for employers, according to lawyers representing banking group HSBC.

It has established the “range of reasonable responses” test as the correct way for tribunals to decide if an employer’s decision to dismiss is unreasonable.

Appeal court judges felt that employers are the right people to discipline their own workforce. Tribunals simply have to decide objectively if sanctions are fair by considering whether they fall within a range of reasonable responses that could have been made in the circumstances.

“This is a resounding victory for common sense, and there will be a sigh of relief from employers,” said Colin Tweedie, senior employment partner at Addleshaw Booth, which advised HSBC.

“The uncertainty caused by Haddon meant going to tribunal would have become far more of a lottery for employers.”

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