In Radia v Jefferies International Ltd the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has provided guidance on some of the unusual issues that can arise when a claimant brings two employment tribunal (ET) cases against an employer, and loses the first partly on grounds that his evidence was not believed by the first tribunal, and goes on to lose the second case on the basis that his employers had reasonably relied on the findings on credibility when deciding to dismiss him.
In brief, Radia held a senior position with the company, and was an authorised person under the Financial Conduct Authority’s regime for organisations involved in the provision of financial services. As such, he was required to be a “fit and proper person” as set out in the FCA’s complicated regulatory regime.
When his employer received the judgment in respect of his first tribunal claim, they reacted by suspending him. They went on to consider the terms of the tribunal’s judgment, which noted that: “the claimant’s evidence was 'not credible in many respects' and 'on lots of occasions evasive', and that he had not told the truth or had misled the first ET in a number of respects. That was of 'grave concern', as the claimant was a regulated person”.
The company went on to dismiss Radia on the basis that this finding was damaging to Radia holding a responsible, regulated position in which trust and honesty were of the utmost importance.
The EAT held that dismissal in these circumstances fell within the well-known “band of reasonable responses”, but that the company’s failure to hold an appeal hearing at which Radia could have set out his arguments against dismissal rendered the second tribunal’s decision unlawful.
It should be noted that Radia initially appealed to the EAT on 17 grounds, but that only two were held to identify a legal issue which the EAT could consider. The first ground considered by the EAT, which it dismissed, was whether the employer was entitled to rely on the first tribunal’s judgment in respect of the claimant’s credibility, which the company had characterised as dishonesty when dismissing him.
The EAT ruled that although the first ET had not used the word “dishonesty” in its judgment, the argument was a semantic one in that it was clear from the judgment that the tribunal had simply not believed the claimant’s evidence.
See Radia v Jefferies International Ltd UK EAT 0123/18