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Dismissal effective when dismissal letter read

Posted on 15th October 2010
Case law

The Supreme Court agrees that a dismissal is not effective until the employee is told he or she is dismissed or when the letter of dismissal is actually read.

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Julie Temple Julie
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the decision reaffirms the importance of actual knowledge of dismissal

Gisda Cyt v Barratt

The Supreme Court agrees with the Court of Appeal's decision we reported on in Effective date of dismissal is when employee reads dismissal letter.  The Supreme Court made reference to the fact that the employee had not deliberately avoided opening the letter, indicating that any such behaviour would likely override the principle that they must read the letter for the dismissal to be effective.

In practice

The Supreme Court's decision reaffirms the importance of actual knowledge of dismissal if it is to be effective. When dismissing with or without notice always deliver the decision verbally and confirm in writing or hand the decision letter to the employee in person. This will avoid the issue!

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