What happens when an employee successfully appeals a dismissal?
The final stage in most formal processes (certainly any relating to disciplinary and capability issues) is the appeal stage. If an employee has been dismissed, the appeal stage is the final chance an employee has to try and get an employer to reconsider their initial decision.
That begs the question – what’s the impact if the initial dismissal is overturned on appeal?
The first and obvious consequence is that the employee is no longer dismissed and will fall back into their role. In effect, the original dismissal disappears and the employee will be entitled to pay between dismissal and the re-instatement date. In law, it is as if nothing has ever happened and continuity of employment will be protected.
This will still be the case even if during the appeal process the employee themselves states that they don’t want to be reinstated – if they don’t withdraw the appeal and the process concludes with them being reinstated then their reluctance is irrelevant.
It is important that employers remain aware of this option as appeals, if done properly, can remedy an initially flawed process and if the dismissal is overturned, there is then no possibility of an unfair dismissal claim.
If an appeal is successful and a dismissal is overturned, then depending on the circumstances the employer is then free to replace this with a different sanction (such as a final written warning), or no sanction at all (such as if new evidence comes to light that exonerates the employee).
Author: Jonothan Scollen, Employment Law Solicitor at Howarths