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Stick to ‘The Code’

The ACAS Code of Practice (“the Code”) on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures does not apply to ill health dismissals. (Holmes v QinetiQ Limited)

Mr Holmes, who is disabled, worked as a security guard and was dismissed as he was no longer capable of performing his role.   The employer failed to obtain an up to date Occupational Health report about Mr Holmes’ ability to return to work following an operation so the court held the dismissal to be unfair. He was given an award for unfair dismissal.

However, Mr Holmes was not entitled to a 25% uplift on the award for the employer’s failure to follow the Code. The Code is for disciplinary action where there is some sort of culpable conduct alleged against an employee that requires correction or punishment.  It does not apply to genuine ill-health performance situations there is no personal culpability by the employee.

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