London Borough of Enfield v. Arnold, Court of Appeal - United Kingdom Employment Appeal Tribunal, January 21, 2000, [2000] EAT 458_99_2101

Resolution Date:January 21, 2000
Issuing Organization:United Kingdom Employment Appeal Tribunal
Actores:London Borough of Enfield v. Arnold
 
FREE EXCERPT

Copyright 2000

Appeal No. EAT/458/99

EMPLOYMENT APPEAL TRIBUNAL

58 VICTORIA EMBANKMENT, LONDON EC4Y 0DS

At the Tribunal

On 21 January 2000

Before

HIS HONOUR JUDGE PETER CLARK

MS S R CORBY

MR P A L PARKER CBE

THE LONDON BOROUGH OF ENFIELD APPELLANTS

MR J W ARNOLD RESPONDENT

Transcript of Proceedings

JUDGMENT

Revised

EAT/458/99

APPEARANCES

EAT/458/99

- 9 -

JUDGE PETER CLARK: This is an appeal by the employer, the London Borough of Enfield [`Enfield'] against a decision of the London (North) Employment Tribunal, chaired by Mrs Edith Prevezer, sitting on 27th January 1999, upholding the employee, Mr Arnold's complaint of unfair dismissal and awarding him compensation totalling £18,600; the statutory maxima under both the compensatory and basic award heads of compensation in his case. We should record that Mr Arnold's case was heard together with the case of his colleague, Mr Ruskin, who was also dismissed following an incident which occurred on 3rd April 1998. Mr Ruskin also succeeded in his claim against Enfield and received an identical award. Originally Enfield appealed against the decision in Mr Ruskin's case also. However, that appeal has been withdrawn. We are therefore only concerned today with Mr Arnold. The tribunal's decision with extended reasons was promulgated on 8th February 1999.

The Facts

  1. Messrs Arnold and Ruskin were employed by Enfield as special collection loaders and drivers. They were engaged in rubbish collection. Both had long service; Mr Arnold had been employed for 22 years, he was 54 years old at the time of dismissal and had an unblemished service record. Mr Ruskin had been employed even longer and was some six years older.

  2. In late 1997 the District Auditor warned Enfield that they were losing potential revenue generated by the collection of commercial waste. In January 1998 Mr Arnold represented two employees at a disciplinary hearing. They were found to have collected commercial waste for which they personally were paid by the occupiers. They each received a final written warning.

  3. Following that disciplinary case, Mr Blake, the cleansing manager at the Montague Road Depot at which Messrs Arnold and Ruskin were based, issued a notice to all staff dated 24th February 1998. It read as follows:

    ``ACCEPTANCE OF MONEY FOR UNAUTHORISED DISPOSAL OF COMMERICAL WASTE

    Regrettably, because of a recent incident, I need to remind all staff that the acceptance of money for the unauthorised collection and disposal of waste is not allowed in any circumstances. Such an action is contrary to the Refuse Contract and also the Council's policy on the ``Code of Conduct''. Indeed unauthorised disposal of any commercial waste, even without payment, could be interpreted as being in contravention of the Environmental Protection Act and therefore a criminal act.

    Should any allegation come to my attention that the above has occurred then management action will be taken which would likely lead to a disciplinary hearing. If proven, this would constitute gross misconduct and dismissal may be the outcome.

    I am sorry to have to be so blunt but I feel the seriousness...

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