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Size of the uplift for breach of disciplinary procedures

Posted on 29th July 2010
Case law

In a case decided under the statutory dispute resolution procedures, guidance has been given by the EAT on how the size of any uplift should be determined.

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Simon Quantrill Simon
Quantrill
Managing Partner Telephone: 01473 688100

Lawless v Print Plus [2010]

Background

Although the decision relates to the statutory dispute resolution procedures, the EAT decision still has relevance today. Under the old procedures compensation could be increased (or reduced) by as little as 10% and as much as 50% for failure to comply with the procedures. Now, compensation can be increased (or reduced) by up to 25% if either party has failed to comply with the ACAS Code of Practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures.

The decision

Under both regimes the adjustment is made where it is 'just and equitable in all the circumstances'. Whether it is just and equitable, the EAT say will involve consideration of whether:

  • the procedures were ignored altogether or applied to some extent;
  • the failure to comply with the procedures was deliberate or inadvertent; and
  • there are circumstances which may mitigate the blameworthiness of the failure.
The size and resources of the employer will also be relevant where these factors aggravate or mitigate the culpability and/or the seriousness of the failure.

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