Is it reasonable to dismiss an employee at the behest of a third party, without considering whether the request of the Third Party is justified?

No, says the EAT in Bancroft v Interserve.

Many employers seek to rely upon third party pressure without further ado. This is a warning to employers that they must make all due and proper enquiry as to the circumstances giving rise to the third party pressure and if necessary, to consider whether there is anything that they can do to get the third party to change their minds thus allowing the employee to resume work without dismissing. If the third party will not be swayed, the employer is duty bound to seek alternative employment for the employee before moving to dismissal.

Dean Morris


Yes, unless it was issued in bad faith or was manifestly inappropriate, says the Court of Appeal in Davies v Sandwell. Otherwise, past warnings should not be reconsidered.

This must be right. It has always generally been the case that Employment Tribunals have been very reluctant to reconsider or look behind a previous written warning when considering the fairness of an employers later dismissal particularly if the employee never appealed it at the time.

At least it is now possible to ask a Tribunal to reconsider the fairness of  a previous written warning in particular circumstances. This will be of particlar signifcance to employees who have been dismissed whilst on a Final Written Warning that itself was issued in dubious circumstances.

Dean Morris