Sodexho Defence Services Ltd v Steele, Court of Appeal - United Kingdom Employment Appeal Tribunal, June 11, 2009, [2009] UKEAT 0378_08_1106

Resolution Date:June 11, 2009
Issuing Organization:United Kingdom Employment Appeal Tribunal
Actores:Sodexho Defence Services Ltd v Steele

Copyright 2009Appeal No. UKEAT/0378/08/CEAUKEAT/0380/08/CEAEMPLOYMENT APPEAL TRIBUNAL58 VICTORIA EMBANKMENT, LONDON EC4Y 0DS At the Tribunal On 11 June 2009BeforeHIS HONOUR JUDGE REID QCMR K EDMONDSONMRS J M MATTHIASSODEXHO DEFENCE SERVICES LTD APPELLANTMRS S L STEELE RESPONDENTTranscript of ProceedingsJUDGMENTUKEAT/0378/08/CEAUKEAT/0380/08/CEAUKEAT/0378/08/CEAUKEAT/0380/08/CEA APPEARANCESUKEAT/0378/08/CEAUKEAT/0380/08/CEA- 7 -SUMMARYPRACTICE AND PROCEDURE: PerversityThe Claimant, the Respondent's shop manager, was responsible for bagging takings for collection. She was shown on CCTV turning the CCTV off during that process. There was a substantial cash shortage. The Employment Tribunal held she was unfairly dismissed because it regarded the Respondent's investigation as inadequate and because of a perceived inequality of treatment compared with another employee who had been present. Held: the decision was perverse. The Tribunal had substituted its own view as to the adequacy of the investigation. There was no disparity of treatment. The Respondent could not bring disciplinary proceedings against the other employee because she had already left the Respondent's employment.UKEAT/0378/08/CEAUKEAT/0380/08/CEA- 1 -HIS HONOUR JUDGE REID QC1. This is an appeal against two decisions of an Employment Tribunal held at Exeter. By the first on 4 April 2009 the Tribunal determined the Claimant had been unfairly dismissed. By the second on 16 May 2009 the Tribunal dealt with the matter of remedy. The Respondent employer appeals against those decisions.2. The background of the case is that the Claimant had been employed for some years, since 1999, by Sodexho Defence Services Ltd at one of their largest convenience stores. Latterly she had been in the position of manager of that store. She was dismissed on 11 September 2007 on the basis that she was guilty of gross misconduct, in that she was responsible for the theft of substantial sums of money from the store. 3. The system that the store had was that money was bagged up in the store and then collected by Securicor. Before the money was bagged up it was counted by two members of staff in an office in which there was CCTV. The Claimant was on all relevant occasions one of those responsible for the counting and bagging up. Her signature was on all the relevant entries relating to the bagging up of the money. About £10,000 appears to have gone missing over four dates between April and July. There was an inquiry by the Respondent which determined, so far as the Respondent was concerned and the Employment Tribunal appears to have accepted, that the money had not gone missing whilst it was in the care of Securicor. 4. The investigation carried out by the Respondent led it...

To continue reading