The importance of consistency when dealing with disciplinary decisions was highlighted in the case of Doy v Clays Ltd.

Doy appealed against the employment tribunal’s decision to uphold his dismissal by his employer due to “aggressive and threatening behaviour”. He claimed that other employees, including one who had assaulted two employees and another who had been caught downloading pornographic material, were still employed by the company.

His dismissal came after he had allegedly made statements to colleagues about wishing his manager’s children dead and saying he might have to kill the manager. On another occasion he said that he was going to go to his manager’s home and speak to his wife.

The manager took the threats sufficiently seriously that he moved his family out of his home. Doy apologised at the investigation meeting, the disciplinary meeting and the appeal hearing and wrote an apology to the manager concerned. He said that his threats had been made in the heat of the moment because he was under a great deal of stress. He gave examples of the culture of the workplace where others had made statements that were also threatening. Doy, who represented himself at both the ET and EAT, had worked for the company since 2004.

On appeal the EAT found that the matter of disparity of treatment had been raised in both the ET1 and the ET. The ET should have laid out the findings of fact on disparity and analysed how the disparity affected the claim of unfair dismissal, rather than in a summary of the appellant’s evidence which took up a mere six lines as opposed to the respondents’ submission which took up nearly three pages.

The case was remitted to a different ET for a full rehearing.

Doy v Clays Ltd UKEAT/0034/18/DA UKEAT/0035/18