Zimmer Ltd v Brezan: EAT 3 Apr 2009

EAT 1. The employee put forward travel expenses claims for journeys for the purposes of his work but in his own car. On investigation the employers concluded that the details were false and the total claims exaggerated. The employee said that the details were false but the totals were correct. He was dismissed for gross misconduct. The Tribunal found that the dismissal was procedurally unfair and was substantively unfair because they did not reasonably believe that he had been dishonest. They found one-third contributory fault.
2. The Tribunal found, on the employees contract claim for unpaid expenses in respect of a subsequent period, that he had exaggerated his total claims, in respect of the earlier period, by 30%.
3. Held, on appeal, (i) that the Tribunal had erred in basing their conclusion as to reasonable belief on the absence of such belief in dishonesty on the part of the employee in overclaiming. The employer’s case was that he had been dishonest, whether or not he had overclaimed, in basing his claims on details he knew to be false; and in any event gross misconduct could in the context be reasonably believed in without dishonesty; (ii) if the Tribunal had correctly understood the employers’ case, they would inevitably have concluded that their reaction fell within the range of reasonable responses; (iii) in any event , having found for the purposes of the contract claim that the employee had overclaimed, the Tribunal had erred in excluding that finding from their consideration of the unfair dismissal claim; (iv) the appeal against the finding of procedural unfairness failed; (v) remitted to the Tribunal to reconsider contribution and compensation.


Burke QC J


[2009] UKEAT 0294 – 08 – 0304




CitedSecretary of State for Health v Rance EAT 4-May-2007
EAT Equal Pay Act – Part time pensions
Practice and Procedure – Appellate jurisdiction/Reasons/Burns-Barke
The EAT exercised its discretion to allow a point conceded at the Employment Tribunal to be . .
See AlsoZimmer Ltd v Brezan EAT 24-Oct-2008
EAT UNFAIR DISMISSAL: Procedural fairness/automatically unfair dismissal
This judgment addresses only the issue as to whether the Employment Tribunal’s finding of automatically unfair dismissal was wrong in . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 04 August 2022; Ref: scu.374676