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Jaguar Land Rover failed to follow its own dismissal procedure

Posted: 10th February 2021   In: Business Employment

Car manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover dismissed one of its employees without following its own absence management procedures.

That was the decision of the Employment Tribunal in a case involving Mr V Rumbold who had worked for the car manufacturer since February 1999.

In 2018, Rumbold was diagnosed with avascular necrosis disease, which caused his hip to deteriorate. This caused him chronic pain and he was absent from work from 12 March until 13 August 2018.

He had a meeting with his supervisor when he came back. They discussed his health condition and what support could be given. Rumbold’s manager mentioned that this was “purely a return-to-work interview”.

Rumbold was placed in various roles under Jaguar’s restricted worker procedure to try to find something that would be suitable to his condition.

However, none of these new roles was successful.

Relations between Rumbold and his employers worsened further when he was denied holiday leave to attend a medical appointment and so took the day off sick.

An investigation was launched and one of his managers described Rumbold’s performance as the “worst absence record I have ever seen”.

He was dismissed from his position on the grounds of conduct and capability.

Rumbold twice unsuccessfully appealed the decision.

He took the case to an Employment Tribunal claiming disability discrimination and unfair dismissal.

Judge Johnson ruled Rumbold had been unfairly dismissed. He noted that Jaguar had not carried out any of their own absence management procedures in dealing with Rumbold’s case.

He said it appeared that the “general frustration by management with Rumbold’s perceived attitude to work meant that they were determined to proceed straight to an employment review”.

Judge Johnson added: “Unfortunately, no good reason was offered throughout the process which justified why it was reasonable to approach the case in that way.”

However, the tribunal said any award granted to Rumbold at the remedy hearing would be subject to a deduction to the compensatory award and Rumbold's contributory fault.

Plesae contact Faith Widdowson if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any other aspect of employment law.

Case Number: 1301922/2019(V)
Claimant Respondent
Mr V Rumbold v Jaguar Land Rover
September 2020
Employment Judge Johnson
Posted by: Faith Widdowson
Luton Office