An employee has appealed against the initial ruling in an unfair dismissal case, Mr Clutch Auto Centres v Blakemore.
The employment tribunal ruled that the claimant was still an employee of the respondent, despite the claimant arguing that he had been wrongfully dismissed and the respondent claiming that he had resigned.
The claimant was signed off work by his doctor for three weeks on 10 October 2012 because of anxiety and depression. He returned to his workplace on 17 October in connection with his car, which was parked there.
He returned the next day and sought to remove tools from the premises, when the issue arose, as the branch manager would not permit him to remove the tools.
On 27 October, the claimant received a P45 form from employer stating a leaving date of 18 October, and then, on 6 November, he received a letter claiming he had resigned.
The claimant denied this, and told the tribunal he had been wrongly and unlawfully dismissed.
The tribunal’s ruling stated: “The claimant did not resign his position with the respondent. As we have rejected the claimant’s case that the respondent dismissed him, it follows that he remains an employee of the respondent.”
However, the claimant’s solicitor did not include a complaint that the claimant had suffered an unlawful deduction of pay. As a result of this and the failed claim for unfair and wrongful dismissal, he was unable to claim for outstanding sick pay.
Sarah Henchoz, partner in employment practice at Allen and Overy, said: “The claimant pleaded his case to say that he had been dismissed and the respondent said he resigned, and the tribunal found that his employment was continuing.
”Because his own pleading stated that his employment had been dismissed, the claimant could not then say his employment was ongoing.
“It is one of those cases that is a reminder to both sides to make sure they really understand how they have pleaded their case.”