Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union v Ippoma (Unfair Dismissal : Mitigation of Loss): EAT 19 Jun 2013

EAT UNFAIR DISMISSAL – Mitigation of loss
In their decision on liability the Employment Tribunal held that the Respondent trade union had not established that the reason for the Claimant’s dismissal was redundancy. The dismissal was unfair. They went on to hold that the ‘redundancy’ was a ‘ruse’ to terminate his employment. The Employment Tribunal relied upon the ‘ruse’ finding to hold that the Claimant had not acted unreasonably in refusing to attend an interview with the Respondent to effectively re-apply for his job. They therefore found that he had not failed to mitigate his loss. A maximum compensatory award was made. The ‘ruse’ finding was also relied upon to hold that the Respondent had acted unreasonably and that a costs order should be made against them.
The finding of unfair dismissal was not appealed. The conclusion that ‘redundancy’ was a ‘ruse’ to dismiss the Claimant was not Meek compliant. The reader of the Judgment could not know the reason for the finding. The Claimant had alleged in his ET1 that his dismissal was connected with his candidacy for the post of General Secretary. The Employment Tribunal expressly declined to make any findings in relation to this allegation. Reference was made by the Employment Tribunal to evidence about dissatisfaction with the Claimant’s performance but there was no express finding that this was the reason for dismissal nor did the findings of fact necessarily lead to such a conclusion. ‘Ruse’ was a key finding in the award of compensation and costs. The finding was not explained. Appeals allowed. Compensation and costs remitted to a different Tribunal for determination having regard to relevant matters including their findings on the reason for dismissal (finding that it was not redundancy to stand), whether the Claimant failed to mitigate his loss and in the light of the reason for his dismissal, should an award of costs be made against the Respondent. All finding of fact in the three Judgments were on liability, remedy and costs to stand save that specified passages in those Judgments relating to the finding of ‘ruse’ were to be removed.

Slade J
[2013] UKEAT 0008 – 13 – 1906
England and Wales


Updated: 19 November 2021; Ref: scu.514415