Thursday, 14 March 2019

The Employment Tribunal Part 4 - The Tribunal pt2


The ET stated “The claimant began to suffer from the effects of stress at work. [Investigation Officer] became concerned. On the evening of 1 January 2015, [Investigation Officer] and the claimant met for about one and a half hours to discuss the matter. There was a long discussion of the causes of the claimant's stress. Together they completed a stress risk assessment questionnaire. Predominantly, the cause cited by the claimant was workplace related: By the time the meeting ended it was after midnight. The claimant then worked his shift as normal through the early hours of 2 January 2015”.

The ET later stated [Disciplinary Officer] did not take into account the claimant's perception of stress at work, nor was he invited to do so.”

Claimant’s ‘stress’ was addressed a day prior to the disciplinary process beginning, but Peninsula convinced ET it was addressed because Respondent was concerned for Claimant, convinced ET the ‘stress’ was merely the Claimant’s perception of stress, and then convinced ET that Claimant didn’t raise the issue of stress during the disciplinary hearing. Peninsula glossed over the Claimant’s ‘stress’ to ET and conveniently failed to mention:-

  • That they were fully aware Claimant had been diagnosed by his GP as suffering from ‘work related stress’ (so it wasn’t the Claimant’s perception of stress, it was an official diagnosis of stress from a GP).
  • That they were also aware Claimant suffered from extremely high blood pressure and was on medication.
  • That they were also aware Claimant was off work with stress for nearly two weeks after the 2014 disciplinary hearing and, on his return to work around 17 November 2014, Respondent did absolutely nothing – not even a back to work review or welfare meeting (so no sign of Respondent having concern for Claimant there).
  • That they were also aware on 13 December 2014, almost 4 weeks after Claimant returned to work, Respondent had still done absolutely nothing. It was then Claimant requested Respondent conduct an ‘Occupational Health Assessment’ on the advice of his GP because the GP believed Claimant’s "health condition could have a substantial and long term adverse effect on my ability to carry out day-to-day activities, and needs to be assessed under the disability procedures".
  • That they were aware it took a request from the Claimant before any assessment was carried out (so no sign of Respondent having concern for Claimant there).
  • That they were also aware it took another 3 weeks, from Claimant’s request for an ‘Occupational Health Assessment’, for Respondent to actually act on it by conducting the lesser ‘Workplace Stress assessment’ (so no sign of Respondent having concern for Claimant there. Let us not forget, Respondent allegedly had concerns about hotel being without a manager and acted upon that within the hour; yet it took Respondent seven weeks, and only after being prompted by Claimant, to act on any concerns they allegedly had about Claimant’s health).
  • That they were also aware the ‘Workplace Stress assessment’ was carried out on 1 January 2015, at the start of the very night shift that led to Claimant’s dismissal, and it assessed Claimant as showing signs of stress, there and then, while he was sat down in a calm environment.
  • That they were also aware Respondent failed to act immediately on the findings of the assessment or seek medical advice; Respondent simply left Claimant alone on shift knowing he had recently been off sick with stress (which affects decision making), knowing he suffered from extremely high blood pressure (which is aggravated by stress), knowing he was on medication for the blood pressure (medication which listed blurred vision as just one of the side effects – guess Respondent didn’t think good vision was required for someone in charge of a fire evacuation), knowing his condition could have a substantial and long term adverse effect on his ability to carry out day-to-day activities (which could affect his ability to do his job), knowing Respondent made no effort what so ever to hold a welfare meeting with Claimant to assess if his condition could affect his ability to do his job (so much for Respondent being concerned for Claimant), and now knowing he had just been assessed as showing signs of stress (which would aggravate the blood pressure further). So, no sign of Respondent having concern for Claimant when it came to leaving him alone on site, without any support, in charge of an occupied hotel. Respondent not even concerned about the additional stresses a fire evacuation might have on Claimant’s condition if he had to deal with one alone and unsupported – which is strange because Peninsula convinced ET that Respondent fire safety as a high priority!
  • They were also aware Respondent never had any further meetings with Claimant regarding his condition, despite agreeing to monitor Claimant and meet with him regularly to review the issue (so no sign of Respondent having concern for Claimant there, or maybe Respondent had decided on the dismissal much earlier than is documented and saw no reason to monitor him if he wasn’t going to be there much longer)
  • They were also aware that the night after the assessment, 2 January 2015, Respondent conducted an investigation into Claimant at beginning of his shift, then again left him on his own in charge of the hotel without any support, or any concern for the additional stress they had just placed on Claimant (so no sign of Respondent having concern for Claimant there).
  • As for Claimant not inviting the Disciplinary Officer to take the stress into account; Peninsula read the full notes of the disciplinary hearing and were aware that Claimant did raise the issue of stress at disciplinary stage and that the Disciplinary Officer completely ignored Claimant on this and never responded or addressed the issue; which can be seen in the full disciplinary notes. However, the ET didn’t receive the full disciplinary notes; Peninsula only disclosed incomplete notes which conveniently made no mention of Claimant raising the issue of stress (Claimant stated several times that the disciplinary notes were incomplete, but no one took any notice of him and Peninsula took full advantage of that fact).

‘the stress being the Claimant’s perception (and not something which had been diagnosed by a GP)and ‘Respondent being concerned about the Claimant’ and ‘Respondent NOT being invited by Claimant to take account of the stress’ was all taken into account when the ET made their decision in favour of Respondent.




The ET stated “None of the three cover staff had received the additional fire evacuation training”.

Peninsula convinced ET that the cover staff put in place by Claimant had not done the alleged advance fire safety training. However, that contradicted Respondent’s own statements.
  • At appeal hearing, in regard to the fire panel, the Appeal Officer is documented as stating that “hentland out service contractor did a full training session and this was passed on to all staff”.
  • At ET the Respondent stated that the only people trained on the fire panel were ‘those who knew how to organise a fire evacuation’.

From those two Respondent statements it would be reasonable to conclude that ALL staff knew how to organise a fire evacuation because ALL staff had been trained on the fire panel; which in turn would mean there was no fire safety issue when Claimant left the cover staff in place. 

However, if ALL staff knew how to organise a fire evacuation, that would contradict the story Peninsula was putting to ET. So Peninsula changed the particulars of who had done this alleged training and convinced the ET that only certain staff had received fire panel training, which meant only certain staff knew how to organise a fire evacuation. Yes, you guessed it again, there were no training records disclosed to support that fire panel training, or additional fire safety training, actually existed; not one certificate was disclosed to show that any employee had taken part in, or completed, the alleged training.

‘the existence of additional fire evacuation training’ and ‘only certain people taking part in additional fire evacuation training’ was taken into account when the ET made their decision in favour of Respondent.




The ET stated “From the rotas available to me in the bundle, [the Chef] was never recorded as being the "duty manager"; when he was on shift, there was always another manager or GSM present at the hotel”.

It came as no surprise to Claimant that the Chef was never recorded as a ‘Duty Manager’ because the rotas didn’t record Duty Managers on them. ‘Duty Manager’ was something that was never put to Claimant and was never raised by Respondent during the entire disciplinary process, but was now something they were relying on at ET. Somehow Peninsula convinced ET that the rotas recorded ‘Duty Managers’.

Peninsula also convinced ET that when the Chef was on shift, there was always another manager or GSM there too; not forgetting that Peninsula claimed that ALL managers and GSMs were fully trained. The disclosed rotas do confirm a manager or GSM was on shift with the Chef, but only for the days they actually covered. However, some of the days covered by the rotas show the GSM on shift was the same GSM who Peninsula had been told by Respondent was new to the role and NOT trained. Peninsula used the fact that this particular GSM was on shift to support their argument that there was always a trained manager on shift; but then Peninsula failed to inform ET that this particular GSM wasn’t trained; the fact she wasn’t trained supported the Claimant’s case.

‘staff rotas recording Duty Managers’ and ‘trained GSMs being on shift with the Chef’ was taken into account when the ET made their decision in favour of Respondent.




The ET stated “In response to the request for the procedures requiring management presence, [Disciplinary Officer] replied: "You have asked for company procedures regarding management cover. You will be aware from your lengthy experience in the role that there are no written procedures in place to send out to you"”.

When Respondent took over the hotel, Claimant was a few months into his Night Supervisor training. Respondent never continued that training; instead the training just stopped while the hotel was being refurbished. Months later the Respondent invited ALL staff to apply for GSM roles of which the Night Manager was one such role. The Claimant applied for the Night Manager role and, without completing his existing training, without undergoing any night management training, without any interview being conducted, and without any assessment as to his suitability for the role, the Respondent appointed Claimant as Night Manager. Peninsula convinced ET that Claimant’s 3 months of unsupervised and untrained experience as Night Manager, without any procedures in place, meant he had ‘lengthy experience’ in the role and knew what to do.




In relation to the 2015 disciplinary hearing, the ET stated “During the course of the meeting (although it is not entirely clear on which date) the claimant told [Disciplinary Officer] that [the other night staff] had received enhanced fire training prior to the respondent taking over the hotel”

Peninsula had read the disciplinary notes from both days, something they would have to do in order to give advice on the issue, so they were fully aware that nothing was recorded in either set of notes about Claimant saying any such thing – which explains why Peninsula couldn’t give the ET a specific date on this alleged statement. Yet, Peninsula put to ET as fact that the Claimant had stated the night staff had done enhanced fire safety training, despite it never being documented in either set of disciplinary notes (Again, Peninsula relying on something at ET that was never investigated, never established, never put to Claimant during the disciplinary process, and never documented. Also bear in mind that the alleged enhanced fire safety training was not a requirement under the previous owners so Claimant had no reason to state the night staff had done such training, and Respondent had not reviewed training records from the previous owners – they were simply making groundless assumptions).

A firm regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority is forbidden from allowing information, which they know or suspect is false, to be put forward as a truth to the Court ie that Claimant made a statement regarding staff training during disciplinary hearing; when no such statement was recorded in the disciplinary notes – but Peninsula are not regulated by the SRA.

‘Claimant stating to Disciplinary Officer that the other night staff had done enhanced fire safety training’ was taken into account when the ET made their decision in favour of Respondent.





The ET added “Following the meeting [the Disciplinary Officer] set about making his decision”.

And here it is again; Peninsula once more convinced ET the sanction was decided upon after the disciplinary hearing had taken place.

However, Peninsula failed to inform the ET that:
  • they had already drafted THE dismissal letter, at Respondent’s request, and handed it over to Respondent a day prior to the disciplinary hearing being reconvened (This wasn’t a template letter, this was the actual letter issued to Claimant where dismissal had already been decided upon, reasons for dismissal stated, and the letter dated 29 January 2015; it made no reference to anything discussed in the reconvened hearing which was held on 29 January 2015 but then how could it as the dismissal letter was written the day before – this all shows dismissal had been determined prior to the reconvened hearing. A draft dismissal letter was the only letter requested because dismissal was the only outcome being considered, and had already been decided on).
  • on handing over the dismissal letter Peninsula confirmed with Respondent that they could ‘telephone the outcome following the meeting with dismissal letter to follow afterwards(as the dismissal letter was going to follow the outcome phone call on 29 January 2015, that is again evidence dismissal had been decided upon).
  • on handing over the dismissal letter Peninsula also advised about not making the dismissal look preconceived (which shows Peninsula knew the dismissal had been pre-determined).

The decision to dismiss Claimant had already been made, at very least, a day prior to the completion of the disciplinary hearing, but Peninsula convinced the ET that the decision to dismiss Claimant was made after the reconvened disciplinary hearing.

A firm regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority is forbidden from allowing information, which they know or suspect is false, to be put forward as a truth to the Court ie that the decision to dismiss was made after the disciplinary hearing; when they knew full well the decision had been made a day earlier – but Peninsula are not regulated by the SRA.

‘the sanction being decided upon after the disciplinary hearing, and therefore in good faith’ was taken into account when the ET made their decision in favour of Respondent.



Peninsula now have a history of knowing sanctions have been pre-determined, of giving approval to issue those pre-determined sanctions, and of failing to disclose to ET that the sanctions were pre-determined – and that’s just concerning this one case! Does make you wonder just how many other times they have done this!!




The ET again stated in relation to advanced fire safety training [The other night staff] had been trained in how to operate the fire panel and how to organise an evacuation. This training was, in [Disciplinary Officer’s] opinion, quite different to the basic online fire safety training that had been given to the three cover staff. He was aware that [the other night staff] had had the additional training because he had been present when some of it was delivered and because the claimant had informed him during one of the meetings that they had attended such training”.
  • Again, despite the Appeal Officer stating at Appeal Hearing that training on the fire panel had been passed on to ALL staff, which by Respondent’s own verbal testimony meant ALL staff had done advance fire safety training, Peninsula convinced the ET that this training had only been passed on to certain staff.
  • And again, despite Disciplinary Officer stating at disciplinary hearing that it was the Claimant who trained the other night staff, Peninsula convinced the ET that it was the Disciplinary Officer who trained the other night staff and that Claimant wasn’t aware of this training because it was done on his nights off.
  • And once more, despite nothing being documented in the notes of the entire disciplinary process, Peninsula convinced the ET that Claimant had informed Disciplinary Officer that the other night staff had done advanced fire safety training. This conflicted with Peninsula’s other statement that the training was done on Claimant’s night off; which by definition meant Claimant wouldn’t know if training had been conducted so wouldn’t be able to state if the other night staff were trained or not.
  • And not forgetting the fact that, in spite of a Disclosure Order being in place from the ET, there was not one piece of supporting documentary evidence disclosed to support that this advanced fire safety training existed, let alone that anyone had done the alleged training.

These were all things relied on by Peninsula to justify the dismissal at ET; but none were investigated, or established, or put to Claimant during the disciplinary process. None of them had any supporting documents. Yet Peninsula put them forward as true facts to the ET; which the ET then took into consideration when making their decision in favour of the Respondent.





The ET further stated [The Disciplinary Officer] considered that, when there was a shortage of cover, the claimant knew that he had to telephone a manager to arrange a replacement and to stay on the premises until the replacement had arrived. Evidence of such knowledge was, in [The Disciplinary Officer’s] opinion, to be found in the way the claimant had acted in the past. [The Disciplinary Officer] put this point to the claimant in general terms at the disciplinary meeting as part of a monologue to which the claimant did not respond. He had a particular example in mind: it related to the events of the morning of 25 October. As I have already described, that was due to a shortage of kitchen staff. It demonstrated that the claimant was aware of different options that he had when there was a shortage of staff in a particular area. It did not however demonstrate awareness on the claimant's part that there always had to be a manager present on the premises”.
  • As mentioned in an earlier post, there was no staff absence, which was confirmed by the report of the day; the staff put on the rota all turned up on time but were simply not trained to do their jobs – Respondent even admitted to Peninsula (but conveniently didn’t tell the ET) that the Manager they put on shift that morning was new to the role and not trained. That now meant everyone put on the rota by Respondent, for that particular shift, was not trained to do the jobs they were there for. Yet, Peninsula convinced the ET that the manager on shift was trained and that the remaining ‘untrained staff turning up for their shift’ was in fact the same as ‘a staff shortage caused by staff not turning up for their shift’.
  • When the Claimant was dismissed, the Disciplinary Officer had in mind the 24 October 2014 and a manager absence – we know this as FACT because he clearly stated this in the dismissal letter as justification for the dismissal despite him knowing it had never been investigated or established. He also referenced this instance several times in his written statement to ET even though he knew it was false because, by then, it had been established that the Claimant wasn’t in work at the time!!! Yet, despite 24 October 2014 and a manager absence being documented by the Disciplinary Officer in his reasons for dismissal, Peninsula somehow manged to convince the ET that, when the Disciplinary Officer dismissed Claimant, he really had in mind the morning of the 25 October 2014 and a kitchen staff absence (which coincidentally was the uncorroborated version relied on by the Appeal Officer and, if true, also confirmed that Respondent had no examples of Claimant having experience of a manager absence)!!

Again, none of these things were investigated, established or put to Claimant during the disciplinary process, yet Peninsula put them forward as true facts to the ET; which the ET then took into consideration when making their decision in favour of the Respondent.




The ET continued “Another factor that influenced [Disciplinary Officer’s] decision was one that he did not share with the claimant. [The Chef] had previously occupied a "front of house" role but had asked to be relieved of that responsibility and placed in the kitchen. The reason for that request had been some personal problems of which [Disciplinary Officer] and [Investigation Officer] were aware. These problems, in [Disciplinary Officer’s] view, made it hard to have confidence in [the Chef’s] ability to be left in charge of the hotel.”

Let’s put this into some context; the Chef wasn’t just placed in the kitchen, he was placed in charge of the kitchen unsupervised – which is the most dangerous place in the hotel as it deals with gas, open flames, electric, sharp equipment, food hygiene, health and safety, and fire safety. The mere fact the Chef dealt with gas and open flames meant it was reasonable to believe he had a higher standard of fire safety training then those that didn’t work in the kitchen.

According to Peninsula, the Chef’s alleged personal problems (of which no evidence or statement from the Chef was ever disclosed to support these personal problems existed) meant Respondent had no confidence in the Chef standing behind reception, taking phone calls, dealing with guests and maybe having to deal with a fire evacuation.

But, the Chef’s personal problems didn’t affect the Respondent’s confidence in him being unsupervised in charge of the kitchen, unsupervised using gas and open flames, unsupervised using electrical equipment, unsupervised using sharp equipment, unsupervised making sure all the food met hygiene standards, and unsupervised if he had to deal with a fire evacuation (we know the Chef was unsupervised because Peninsula also convinced ET that Guest Service Managers were not the Chef’s line manager – which meant when a GSM was the most senior staff on site, they had no authority or responsibility over the Chef; he was left to his own devices)!

Not forgetting that Respondent failed to inform Claimant that the Chef allegedly had personal problems that could affect his ability to do certain jobs. According to Respondent, Claimant was responsible for finding cover staff; so you’d think Claimant would have been given all relevant staff information in order for him to do that part of his job correctly. Respondent didn’t need to disclose details of the Chef’s problem to Claimant, all they had to say was the Chef was unsuitable for certain roles, or instruct Claimant to clear it through them first before reassigning Chef to another role – just as a precaution so Claimant wouldn’t incorrectly allocate the Chef to a role he was unsuitable for; but Respondent didn’t do that despite knowing Claimant was responsible for finding cover staff and despite everyone’s contracted terms of employment stating that they could be requested to carry out other roles (Once more, Peninsula relying on something at ET that was never investigated, never established, and never put to Claimant during the disciplinary process. Peninsula used the fact Claimant wasn’t the Chef’s line manager as reason for not informing him the Chef had personal problems).





The ET added [Disciplinary Officer] believed that the claimant's actions had affected the smooth running of the hotel. He personally had observed this fact in his efforts to call the hotel twice and the call having rung out”

Peninsula convinced ET that the Disciplinary Officer’s phone calls ringing out was evidence that Claimant’s actions had affected the running of the hotel. But that contradicted the Disciplinary Officer’s own written statement because, in that, he stated “I called the hotel to speak to [Claimant] to say that I was on my way in, but there was no answer when I rang the phone number for reception. I thought [Claimant]  must be away from the desk or assisting a guest or with breakfast”. The Disciplinary Officer himself gave reasons as to why the calls might not have been answered; each reason put forward was the Claimant dealing with hotel business – so it was accepted by Respondent at the time that calls to the hotel might not be answered because staff might be otherwise engaged. Therefore, a phone call being missed was not evidence of anything affecting the running of the hotel. It’s only when it came to presenting their case to ET that Peninsula changed the story and put forward a single theory that the calls ringing out meant the running of the hotel had been affected by Claimant’s actions – they didn’t say how the hotel had been affected; only that it was.




The ET later stated [Disciplinary Officer’s] involvement was imperfect. He had witnessed some events that had a bearing on the eventual decision. In particular, he drew upon his own recollection that he had attempted to telephone the hotel and the call had twice rung out. He also took into account his own knowledge of staff training when distinguishing between the claimant's case and that of [the other Night Staff]”.

The ET acknowledged that the Disciplinary Officer was a witness, against the Claimant, in the very hearing he was chairing. A Disciplinary Officer is supposed to be independent and only take account of the evidence put to him by the Investigation Officer and the Claimant; by definition he can’t be independent if he is also a witness against the Claimant and relying on his own alleged and untested recollection. However, as mentioned in an earlier post, the ET gives leeway on this issue if the company involved is small with limited resources.


The ET continued, [Disciplinary Officer’s] involvement was still well within the reasonable range of procedures for this respondent. It is a small organisation and it had little room for manoeuvre. Realistically, the only alternative person with authority to discipline the claimant would have been [the Appeal Officer]. That would only have left [the remaining Company Director] to hear the appeal. It was not put to any of the respondent's witnesses that [the remaining Company Director] should have been designated to hear the appeal, and very probably that omission was deliberate and well chosen. [The remaining Company Director] did not take an active role in the operation of the business.”

And sure enough, the ET negated the fact that the Disciplinary Officer was a witness against the Claimant, and therefore not independent, by stating the Disciplinary Officer’s involvement was reasonable for this particular Respondent because they were a small business and the Disciplinary Officer could only have been replaced by the Appeal Officer which would have left no one to hear the appeal.

If you recall in an earlier post, we dealt with the fact that the Disciplinary Officer was NOT employed by the Respondent. It probably didn’t seem significant at the time but, this is where the that fact would have made an enormous difference because, had the ET known the Disciplinary Officer was employed by another company, and that Respondent could bring in people from outside their company and give them instant authority to carry out disciplinary hearings, that would mean Respondent had plenty of room to manoeuvre because they had alternatives and resources available to them and the disciplinary process could have proceeded unhindered simply by Respondent giving a person from outside their company the authority to hear a disciplinary, which would leave the original director in place to hear any appeal. 

However, as shown in the previous post, The ET had never been informed that the Disciplinary Officer was employed by another company; instead Peninsula had falsely put to ET that the Disciplinary Officer was employed by the Respondent.
The ET allowed the above flaw to the disciplinary process simply because Peninsula convinced them that Respondent had no room to manoeuvre, no other alternatives, and no other resources.





The ET stated “It is said that [Investigation Officer’s] investigation was "perfunctory". I would not go that far. The investigation was certainly imperfect. The [other night staff] situation had been raised at the investigation meeting. There were steps that [Investigation Officer] could have taken in order to ascertain whether or not [other night staff] had received the same level of training as [the Chef]. However, I do not find that that omission takes the investigation outside the reasonable range of responses. [Investigation Officer’s] view was that the claimant was not comparing like with like. He observed that, whenever [other night staff] were on duty there was always a manager asleep on the premises who could be woken up if need be”.

The ET acknowledged the Investigation Officer was also a witness against the Claimant ie the Investigation Officer relied on his own alleged observations rather than information established by the investigation itself; therefore he too by definition could not be independent (it also has to be noted that the investigation itself did NOT establish any of the alleged facts relied on to dismiss Claimant – ALL alleged facts were groundless assumptions from the officers conducting the disciplinary process).

The ET also allowed this flaw to the disciplinary process simply because Peninsula convinced them that Respondent had no room to manoeuvre, no other alternatives, and no other resources.


The ET stated [Appeal Officer’s] treatment of the appeal did not amount to a full re-hearing, as the disciplinary procedure prescribed. Taken together with the disciplinary meeting, however, it did not bring the investigation outside of the reasonable range for a small employer.

The ET acknowledge that the appeal itself was conducted contrary to disciplinary procedures, but then negate that fact because the Respondent was a small business.
The ET further allowed this flaw to the disciplinary process simply because Peninsula convinced them that Respondent had no room to manoeuvre, no other alternatives, and no other resources.

Had it been disclosed to ET that Respondent could simply give disciplinary authority to people from outside the company, they would have known Respondent had alternatives and resources that small companies in general don’t have access to, which put Respondent in a much better position to comply with the disciplinary process than a typical small company – a fact which ET should have taken into account when deciding to give leeway on these issues.




The ET stated “It was also reasonable to conclude that the claimant, as a matter of common sense, knew that there had to be a responsible person on the premises at all times, whether they were called a "duty manager" or not and whether they had "manager" in their job title or not. That responsible person was allocated according to the rota and never included [the Chef].

The ET again relying on the false fact, put to them by Peninsula, that the disclosed rotas designated a ‘Responsible Person’. And not forgetting that Peninsula also convinced ET the Chef was not a responsible person because he allegedly had personal problems. If you recall, Respondent admitted that they had not informed Claimant of the Chef’s personal problems – so Claimant couldn’t take those alleged problems into account. As far as Claimant was concerned, the Chef had moved from a front of house Supervisory role, to being put in charge of the kitchen unsupervised – to the Claimant, that was a clear sign the Chef was a ‘Responsible Person’ and he took that into account when leaving the Chef in charge.





The ET added “it would be reasonable to conclude that the claimant, not having line management responsibility for [the Chef], had taken the risk that [the Chef] might not be an appropriate person to cover the hotel. It was an obvious risk bearing in mind he was never on the rota of duty managers”.

ET rely on Claimant NOT being the ‘Line Manager’ of the Chef; which in itself should have confirmed the Chef, who was supposedly not a 'Responsible Person', was left unsupervised in charge of the kitchen when Claimant or another GSM was the senior person in the hotel. Then ET rely on the false information, put to them by Peninsula, that the disclosed rotas designated ‘Duty Managers’.




The ET stated “It was plain that the events of 2 January 2015 had occurred whilst the claimant was under a final written warning. There was nothing on the face of the warning or in the procedure that had been followed that would have led either [Disciplinary Officer] or [Appeal Officer] to think that it would be inappropriate to rely on it”.

Peninsula knew the Disciplinary and Appeal Officers had knowledge which they had not disclosed to ET ie that procedures had not been followed and that the warning had been pre-determined. Strange that Peninsula did not disclose this information to ET as they were quite forthcoming when it came to disclosing alleged ‘knowledge’ that painted the Claimant in a bad light. This blog has already gone over the things Peninsula knew which made the warning inappropriate to use, and yet Peninsula still put to ET that it was appropriate to rely on it.





When the ET made its decision in favour of the Respondent, it relied heavily on all the false information put to them as ‘TRUTH’ by Peninsula.

The question now is; would the ET have come to a different decision had Peninsula disclosed the true facts of the case?

The answer to that question is a resounding YES! The pre-determined Final Written Warning, from 2014, on its own made the dismissal unfair. The pre-determined dismissal, from 2015, on its own made the dismissal unfair. The ET would have had no choice but to find the dismissal unfair on those two points alone. The details of who knew what, who was trained, if there were procedures, was there bias against Claimant etc would have come into play when apportioning blame and calculating any award for the Claimant.

The tribunal system is underfunded, it doesn’t have the time or resources to verify information put before it, so it relies on the honesty and integrity of those who put the information to them. Peninsula knew this and took full advantage.



 Next post will be a recap - coming soon.

Thursday, 17 January 2019

The Employment Tribunal Part 4 - The Tribunal pt1


Despite Peninsula having major concerns regarding the ‘First & Final Written Warning’ (not surprising really as they knew it had been pre-determined 12 days prior to the disciplinary hearing), they still approved it being issued, and approved everything the Respondent did prior to, and during, the 2014 disciplinary process.

Despite Peninsula having major concerns regarding the dismissal (ie the dismissal relied on the previous warning which had been issued in bad faith, the dismissal itself had been pre-determined a day prior to completion of the disciplinary hearing, Peninsula even advised about not making it look preconceived, Peninsula even stated the dismissal ‘Smacks of an unfair dismissal claim’, and Peninsula stated dismissal is not going to be something they would endorse), they still approved the dismissal and approved everything the Respondent did prior to, and during, the 2015 disciplinary process.

Despite Peninsula knowing there was false information contained in the Respondent written statements, they still approved those statements be submitted as ‘statements of truth’ to the ET, Peninsula also approved Respondent’s verbal responses during ET (Peninsula may not have known the exact responses beforehand, but they remained silent after the responses from their client were put to ET).

Despite Peninsula stating dismissal was not going to be something they would endorse, they did endorse it even though nothing in the case had changed, and then they went on to defend the dismissal at ET.

It was Peninsula who approved what information should and shouldn’t be put to ET (such as the removal of email evidence from the court bundle that supported Claimant)Peninsula was more responsible than Respondent for putting false information to ET as Peninsula were the so called ‘experts’ in employment law and, as experts, they ought to have known what they and respondent were doing went against employment law ie pre-judging Claimant, pre-determining sanctions, withholding relevant information and documents, removing evidence etc etc. Therefore we will simply refer to ‘Peninsula’ when it comes to who put the information to the Court or who convinced the Court of certain points.

As a request for the ET transcript was turned down, we will have to rely on the written reasons for the judgement in this part of the blog. By using the ETs written reasons, along with the Respondent witness statements, we can ascertain what arguments Peninsula put to the ET. We will deal with each point as it appears in the judgement.




One of the first things stated in the judgement is: “All the witnesses confirmed the truth of their written statements”; which verifies that all Respondent witnesses stated under oath that their written statements were true. This is of great importance because Peninsula knew the statements contained false information, they knew Respondent witnesses would be called upon to confirm the truth of their statements and, nevertheless, Peninsula allowed Respondent witnesses to confirm under oath that all the statements were true. This shows that from the offset of the hearing Peninsula was not being truthful to the Court (knowing what we know now about Peninsula, this comes as no big surprise).

A firm regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority is forbidden from allowing information, which they know or suspect is false, to be put forward as a truth to the Court – but Peninsula are not regulated by the SRA.




In relation to advanced first aid training:

The ET stated “All employees received mandatory training in around August 2014. This included basic first aid training and basic online fire safety training. In addition, a cohort of employees received advanced first aid training. There was a requirement for a specified number of employees within the organisation to have this advanced training”.
  • Both parties agreed that mandatory first aid training had taken place; there were dated certificates disclosed to confirm this – but mandatory first aid training was a legal requirement that every hotel had to comply with and it wasn’t being relied on to justify dismissal.
  • Advanced first aid training was being relied on to justify dismissal. This training was not a legal requirement; it was simply an alleged requirement of the new franchise agreement that came into force on 1st October 2014; the Respondent themselves had no such requirement when they took over the hotel in June 2014, and Claimant never had this training under the previous owners which, in itself, shows it wasn’t required under the previous owners in order for staff to be left alone on site. Both parties could not agree on who had done the advanced first aid training – Claimant stated he had done this training while employed by Respondent, but he also maintained that other managers who had been left in charge by Respondent did not have this training; something he factored into his decision when leaving the cover staff in charge. This could have been easily and quickly resolved by Respondent disclosing relevant training records or certificates but, curiously, for training that was being relied on to justify dismissal, and despite a Disclosure Order being in place from the ET, there were no training records or dated certificates or even investigation notes disclosed to support Respondent’s claims regarding this training (that’s because Respondent knew the documents they held supported the Claimant’s case, especially the dated certificates). Without any supporting documentary evidence, Peninsula managed to convince ET that ‘a cohort of employees’, namely ALL the managers, had received ‘advanced first aid training’ by 1 October 2014 when the new franchise agreement came into force.
  • Respondent knew this wasn’t true as they only gave advanced first aid training to some managers in January 2015 (as confirmed by the notes of a staff meeting mentioned in an earlier post), after Claimant raised the issue of managers not being trained during the January 2015 disciplinary process – which was 3 months after the stated training completion date quoted by Peninsula.
Peninsula may not have known exactly when all managers had done the advanced first aid training, but they knew full well that ALL managers were not trained in time for 1 October 2014 because, as shown in a previous post, Peninsula had been informed by Respondent, during the 2015 disciplinary process, that one particular manager who took over the shift from Claimant in October 2014 was new to the role and not trained at the time. Yet, knowing that at least one manager wasn’t trained, Peninsula changed the particulars regarding this training and convinced ET that ALL managers were trained when the new franchise agreement came into force on 1 October 2014.

ALL managers were trained’ was taken into account when the ET made their decision in favour of Respondent.

Again, a firm regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority is forbidden from allowing information, which they know or suspect is false, to be put forward as a truth to the Court ie putting forward to ET as fact that ALL managers were trained when they knew at least one manager was not trained – but Peninsula are not regulated by the SRA.

The correspondence between Respondent and Peninsula, stating that in October 2014 at least one manager was not trained, was conveniently not disclosed to ET despite a Disclosure Order being in place. Not surprising really because this information supported the Claimant’s version of events that not all managers were trained and that some were simply given a job title and sent on their way.




In relation to additional fire safety training – which was allegedly a requirement under the new franchise written brand standards:

The ET stated “A separate cohort of employees received additional fire safety training; This included how to organise a fire evacuation and how to operate the fire panel. There was nothing especially complicated about the fire panel, but the respondent reasonably took the view that the only people to be trained in its use were those who knew how to organise a fire evacuation. Otherwise, a member of staff might cancel a fire alarm without properly evacuating the hotel, which would leave guests in danger”.

  • Both parties also agreed that mandatory fire safety training had taken place; there were also dated certificates disclosed to confirm this – but mandatory fire safety training was a legal requirement that every hotel had to comply with and again, it wasn’t being relied on to justify the dismissal.
  • Advanced fire safety training was being relied on to justify dismissal. This training was not a legal requirement; it was simply an alleged requirement of the new franchise agreement that only came into force on 1 October 2014; the Respondent themselves had no such requirement when they took over the hotel in June 2014, and Claimant never had this training under the previous owners which again, in itself, shows it wasn’t required under the previous owners in order for staff to be left alone on site. Once more, both parties could not agree on who had done the advanced fire safety training – Claimant maintained he had not done any such training and wasn’t aware of any other staff doing this training; something he again factored into his decision when leaving the cover staff in charge. This too could have been easily and quickly resolved by Respondent disclosing relevant training records or certificates but, curiously, once more, for training that was being relied on to justify dismissal, and despite a Disclosure Order being in place from the ET, there were no training records or dated certificates or even investigation notes disclosed to support Respondent’s claims regarding this training (that’s because the training was never done and therefore, no supporting documents existed). Without any supporting documentary evidence, Peninsula managed to convince ET that only certain staff (ie all the managers) knew how to organise a fire evacuation (because they had done advanced fire safety training) and only those staff were trained in operating the fire panel.
  • Claimant had already refuted at disciplinary hearing that he and the other night staff were given additional fire safety training – something he would know as fact prior to TUPE as he was in charge of the night staff training; and Respondent had not informed Claimant such training was required or had been conducted after TUPE – something he should have been told about considering part of his job was to allocate cover staff. Respondent never investigated Claimant’s training and never disclosed any training records or dated certificates to prove this training had been done (of which there should have been at least two copies of each document as this alleged training was refreshed every three months according to the Disciplinary Officer).
  • When the issue of the fire alarm panel was raised at disciplinary hearing, the Disciplinary Officer simply assumed, without any investigation into the issue, that staff had been ‘fully trained’ by the previous owners. No training records or dated certificates were disclosed to support this.
  • When the issue of the fire alarm panel was raised at disciplinary appeal stage, the particulars of who had done the training had changed; the training had now been conducted by the Respondent. The notes of the meeting show the Appeal Officer stating “hentland out service contractor did a full training session and this was passed on to all staff including yourself”. The Claimant refuted he was ever given any such training and Respondent never investigated this or disclosed any training records or dated certificates to prove otherwise – Respondent simply stuck to their story that “all staff” were fully trained on the fire panel, which meant they didn’t need to check this fact for individual staff.
  • As for being ‘fully trained’ on the fire panel; the Appeal Officer stated that ‘fully trained’ meant just knowing the basics. Yet when it came to other training, such as first aid or fire safety, just knowing the basics didn’t mean ‘fully trained’. The Appeal Officer simply changed the meaning, of what being fully trained meant, to fit in with whatever argument he was putting forward at a given time.
  • The Claimant made a Subject Access Request and again Respondent never disclosed any training records or dated certificates to prove Claimant had done advanced fire safety training (of which there should have been at least two copies of each document as this alleged training was refreshed every three months according to the Disciplinary Officer).
  • The ET made an order for disclosure and yes, you guessed it, Respondent never disclosed any training records or dated certificates to prove Claimant or anyone else had done advanced fire safety training (of which there should have been at least two copies of each document as this alleged training was refreshed every three months according to the Disciplinary Officer)

Had this training actually existed and taken place there would have been a paper trail such as training records and certificates; Respondent could have easily and quickly resolved the issue by disclosing the training file itself and the training records/certificates of those who had completed the training – but there was nothing disclosed from Respondent and they had several opportunities over 14 months to disclose any supporting documents; and this alleged training was being relied on to justify the dismissal.

Peninsula read the notes of the appeal hearing, something they would have to do in order to give advice on the issue, so despite Claimant stating he had not done the training, Peninsula knew that Respondent believed that ALL STAFF were ‘fully trained’ on the fire panel. Yet, Peninsula further changed the particulars, this time in regards to who had done the training; Peninsula convinced ET that only certain staff had been trained on the fire panel, which in turn meant only certain staff had done Advanced Fire Safety training (Peninsula was relying on something at ET that was never investigated, never established, and never put to Claimant during the disciplinary process).

Only certain staff being trained in advanced fire safety and doing training on the fire panel was taken into account when the ET made their decision in favour of Respondent.

Once more, a firm regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority is forbidden from allowing information, which they know or suspect is false, to be put forward as a truth to the Court ie putting forward to ET as fact that only certain staff were trained when they knew Respondent believed at the time ALL staff were trained – but Peninsula are not regulated by the SRA.

This training was allegedly a requirement of the new franchise agreement and the requirement had to be met. Yet, the particulars of this argument had changed at each step from disciplinary hearing to ET.
  • At disciplinary hearing the Disciplinary Officer wanted to justify why the other night staff could be left on their own without a manager on site – so for his argument the night staff became ‘fully trained’ on the fire panel; which in turn meant they had done advanced fire safety training.
  • At appeal hearing the Appeal Officer wanted to justify why he knew staff had done the training without him reviewing their records – so for his argument ‘All staff’ became fully trained on the fire panel; which in turn meant all staff had done advanced fire safety training.
  • At ET Peninsula wanted to justify why it was wrong for Claimant to leave the cover staff in place – so for their argument ‘only certain staff’ were fully trained on the fire panel; which in turn meant only certain staff had done advanced fire safety training, this conveniently didn’t include the cover staff.

If Claimant had not done the advanced fire safety training, as he maintained, that would mean Respondent frequently left Claimant in charge of the hotel despite him being insufficiently trained. It would then not be reasonable of Respondent to sanction Claimant for doing something which they themselves regularly did ie leaving insufficiently trained staff in charge of the hotel.

If ‘all staff’ had done training on the fire panel, as stated by the Appeal Officer at appeal stage, there would be no fire safety issue when Claimant left the cover staff in charge in January 2015 because, by Respondent’s own testimony, staff who were trained on the fire panel knew how to organise a fire evacuation (ie had done advanced fire safety training).

And not forgetting the manager who was new to the roll in October 2014; the Appeal Officer had informed Peninsula that she wasn’t trained in the roll at the time – if she wasn’t trained in the roll then she too was left in charge while being insufficiently trained.

Although training on the fire panel was touched upon during the disciplinary process, it was never relied on to dismiss Claimant or to uphold dismissal, as can be verified by its lack of reference in the disciplinary and appeal outcome letters; in fact fire safety as a whole was not relied on. However, for ET purposes, in order to strengthen their case for dismissal, Peninsula wanted to rely on advanced fire safety training. But, in order to do that, the particulars regarding who had done fire panel training had to be changed; instead of ALL staff being fully trained, as was the case at appeal hearing, Peninsula convinced ET that only certain staff had done this training which meant only certain staff had done advanced fire safety training ie ALL the managers, which meant they didn’t need to verify this fact for individual managers – ALL the managers’ was a catchall that included the Claimant, but it also included the manager who Peninsula had already been told was not trained (again, the fact this manager wasn’t trained was never disclosed to ET).




The ET added [Disciplinary Officer] personally delivered some of this training. At this one session was personally attended by [Appeal Officer]. [The other night staff] also attended this latter session”.

Advanced fire safety training was alleged, by Respondent, to be a requirement under the franchise agreement in order for staff to be left on site alone or without a manager – which makes it all the more curious as to why Respondent left Claimant on site alone without reviewing his training records to confirm he actually met this requirement.
  • Peninsula, without any supporting evidence such as relevant records or even investigation notes, managed to convince ET that the Disciplinary Officer had delivered this advanced training to the other night staff (it is also of note that no staff, and no statements from staff, were present to confirm this).
  • However, at the disciplinary hearing, to justify why Respondent could leave the other night staff on site alone without a manager, the Disciplinary Officer ‘believed’ that Claimant had trained the other night staff prior to TUPE; he stated “as they are on their own and they have obviously had a set amount of training to do those roles - from you”. At no point did the Disciplinary Officer state that he knew the other night staff were trained because he himself had trained them; which if true was something he was unlikely to forget – but then again, if he had stated that, the Claimant was still in a position to fact-check this. Conveniently, the Disciplinary Officer only mentions it 14 months later at ET when Claimant was no longer in a position to fact-check.


Peninsula read the notes of the disciplinary hearing, something they would have to do in order to give advice on the issue, so Peninsula knew that Disciplinary Officer believed Claimant  had trained the other night staff. Yet, Peninsula again changed the particulars and convinced ET that Disciplinary Officer had trained the other night staff (Peninsula again relying on something at ET that was never investigated, never established, and never put to Claimant during the disciplinary process).

‘The other night staff being trained by the Disciplinary Officer’ was taken into account when the ET made their decision in favour of Respondent.

And again, a firm regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority is forbidden from allowing information, which they know or suspect is false, to be put forward as a truth to the Court ie putting forward to ET as fact that Disciplinary Officer had trained the other night staff when they knew the Disciplinary Officer himself believed that Claimant had trained the other night staff – but Peninsula are not regulated by the SRA.

At disciplinary stage Claimant refuted that he gave certain training to the other night staff. Respondent didn’t bother to verify any of the Claimant’s statement by way of interviewing the relevant staff or by reviewing their training records; instead Respondent simply maintained that Claimant had given night staff specific training prior to them taking over the hotel – training that wasn’t required under the previous owners for roles that didn’t exist under the previous owners. However, for ET purposes, in order to justify the dismissal on training grounds, the particulars of who had given this training had changed; instead of it being the Claimant who trained the other night staff, Peninsula convinced ET that the other night staff were trained by the Disciplinary Officer. And the reason put to ET as to why Claimant had no knowledge of this training was, conveniently for Respondent, because the alleged training was done while Claimant was off work – and yes you guessed it, there were no training records or investigation notes disclosed to support that this alleged training had taken place.

Until this alleged training was conducted, the night staff were trained the same as the cover staff in regard to fire safety. Claimant had no reason to believe any different because, as Respondent admitted, this additional fire safety training had been done while Claimant was off work. Even if the other night staff were trained in advanced fire safety, the Claimant had no knowledge of it and had no reason to suspect there was any additional training. Yet, Respondent still expected Claimant to take this training into account when he made decisions regarding cover staff! 

And not forgetting that Appeal Officer verbally stated during ET that the other night staff were better trained than Claimant because Claimant hadn’t done this particular training – which, as this training was allegedly required in order for staff to be left on site alone, confirmed that Respondent left Claimant alone without him being sufficiently trained.




The ET continued, in regard to the hotel being rebranded and reopening on 1 October 2014 “With the new franchise also came a new set of written brand standards. These were not drawn to the claimant's attention and did not form any part of the reasoning in the subsequent disciplinary action”.

  • The requirement to have management on site at all times was part of the franchise written brand standards; Respondent confirmed they had no such requirement, and the previous owners had no such requirement.
  • The requirement for staff to have advanced first aid and advanced fire safety training was also part of the franchise written brand standards; again, neither the Respondent nor the previous owners had such a requirement.
  • The franchise written brand standards only came into force on 1 October 2014 – so from June 2014 to October 2014 the Respondent operated the hotel without any such requirements, and prior to Respondent taking over the hotel there were no such requirements.
But wait a minute; the Claimant was dismissed because he left the hotel without a manager on site and because the staff he left in place had not done the advanced training – these all breached the written brand standards from the franchise agreement. Although the new written brand standards were not cited directly by name during the disciplinary process, their contents were most certainly relied on to dismiss Claimant as there were no other written standards in place for the Respondent to rely on ie no written standards that a manager must be on site at all times, and no written standards that staff left in charge must have completed advanced training.

Despite Respondent relying on the franchise written brand standards to dismiss Claimant, albeit not by name, Peninsula convinced ET that the franchise written brand standards did not form any part of the reasoning in dismissing Claimant.

Once more, a firm regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority is forbidden from allowing information, which they know or suspect is false, to be put forward as a truth to the Court ie putting forward to ET as fact that the new franchise brand standards did not form any part of the reasoning for dismissal; when they knew that only the new franchise brand standards had the requirements relied on by the Respondent – but Peninsula are not regulated by the SRA.

‘the new franchise brand standards not forming any part of the reasoning to dismiss Claimant’ was taken into account when the ET made their decision in favour of Respondent.




The ET stated “On the morning of 25 October 2014 the claimant stayed behind for at least two hours at the end of his shift. The reason why he did so was because there was a shortage of staff in the kitchen. This meant that when the early shift GSM arrived that person would have to alternate between working in the kitchen and covering reception: The claimant decided to stay behind so as to take the pressure off the GSM. That fact was clearly recorded in the report for that particular day”

  • The Claimant always admitted staying behind after his shift on this day to help the incoming manager and take pressure off her because, the staff put on shift by the Respondent on 25 October 2014 were not trained to do the jobs they were there forthat was the fact clearly recorded in the report for that day, and one that supported Claimant’s version of events.
  • The version of events used to dismiss Claimant was; there was a manager absence on 24 October 2014 that Claimant had to deal with. According to Respondent, because they had no procedures in place stating a manager always had to be on site, they instead relied on Claimant’s actions in dealing with this manager's alleged absence to prove Claimant knew there had to be a manager on site before he could leave the property. This version of events was never investigated or established; in fact it was later found to be false as the Claimant wasn’t in work at the time – so the Claimant was actually dismissed using a fabricated reason. This version was never put to Claimant during the disciplinary hearing in order to give him the opportunity to defend against it and inform Respondent that he wasn’t in work at the time; no, it was simply tagged on to the dismissal letter as justification for the sanction. Despite knowing it was false, Peninsula later approved the Disciplinary Officer rely on this version at ET and use it several times as an example that Claimant knew there had to be a manager on site (Peninsula again relying on something at ET that was never investigated, never established, and never put to Claimant during the disciplinary process).
A firm regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority is forbidden from allowing information, which they know or suspect is false, to be put forward as a truth to the Court ie putting forward to ET as fact that Claimant had previous experience of dealing with a manager absence; when they knew the only example cited by Respondent was false – but Peninsula are not regulated by the SRA.




  • The version of events used to uphold dismissal was different to that used to dismiss Claimant and different to the facts clearly stated in the report of the day; in this version there was an alleged kitchen staff absence on 25 October 2014 that Claimant had to deal with. According to Respondent at ET, because they had no procedures in place stating a manager always had to be on site, they instead relied on Claimant’s actions in dealing with this alleged staff absence to prove that Claimant knew what to do regarding a non-management staff absence; Respondent then used this scenario to conclude that Claimant’s ‘obligation and duty’ in dealing with the manger absence in January 2015 should have increased as it was a more senior staff member that would be absent. But there was no kitchen staff absence on 25 October 2014 – so the Claimant’s dismissal was upheld using a different fabricated reason, and a scenario based on that reason was put to ET as justification for upholding the dismissal. You’d think that after the previous version turning out to be false, because it was never investigated or established, that Respondent might actually investigate and establish the facts this time – but oh no, as with the previous version, this version was never investigated, never established as fact, and never put to Claimant during the disciplinary or appeal hearings in order to give him the opportunity to defend against it; no, it too was simply tagged on to the appeal outcome letter as justification for upholding the sanction (and again Peninsula relying on something at ET that was never investigated, never established, and never put to Claimant during the disciplinary process).
  • Peninsula had also been given additional details from the Respondent regarding this particular version ie, there were in fact TWO other managers on site at the time. If this version were true, any decision made regarding staff absence was not solely down to the Claimant. However, when Peninsula put this version to ET they conveniently failed to disclose there were two other managers on site; instead Peninsula allowed ET to believe Claimant was the only manager on site and as such the only person available to deal with the alleged staff absence
A firm regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority is forbidden from allowing information, which they know or suspect is false, to be put forward as a truth to the Court ie putting forward to ET as fact that there was a staff absence; when there was no staff absence recorded in the report of the day. And putting forward as fact that Claimant was the only manager on site at the time; when they had been told by Respondent there were TWO other managers on site – but Peninsula are not regulated by the SRA.

Forget the Claimant’s version of events for the moment; Peninsula were presented with two different versions from the Respondent – one which they knew was false as it was confirmed by Respondent that Claimant wasn’t at work at the time, and one which had no supporting evidence and was contradicted by the report of the day. So what did Peninsula do? They put both versions to ET! Peninsula approved the false version be put to ET several times as a true fact to show Claimant had previous experience of dealing with a manager absence. As for the second version, despite everyone on the staff rota turning up on time for work, despite no absences due to sickness being documented in any reports from the day in question, despite no other evidence being disclosed to show any staff absences occurred that morning, and despite an official report of the day clearly recording that Claimant stayed over because staff were not properly trained, Peninsula convinced the ET that there was a staff shortage on the morning of 25 October 2014 caused by a member of the kitchen staff phoning in sick, and which the Claimant had to deal with as he was the only manager on site. Even when Claimant refuted there was ever a staff shortage, and stated to the ET that he stayed because the staff put on shift by Respondent were not trained to do their jobs, Peninsula personally countered that argument during cross examination by stating ‘so, a staff shortage!’; which implied that untrained staff turning up for their shift, was the same thing as a staff shortage caused by absent staff.

Once more, a firm regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority is forbidden from allowing information, which they know or suspect is false, to be put forward as a truth to the Court ie that there was a ‘staff shortage caused by sickness’ when the report of the day contradicted this – but Peninsula are not regulated by the SRA.

‘Claimant previously dealing with a staff shortage was taken into account when the ET made their decision in favour of Respondent.




The ET stated “Another event in October 2014 reflected less well on the claimant. He posted some information on a social media site. The posting included some entries that had been made onto the Brilliant computer system regarding a guest. The posted records showed some additional charges that had been made owing to the guest's unsatisfactory treatment of the hotel room. The claimant had made a comment about it being an "expensive night". When this material was drawn to the attention of senior management, [Deputy GM/Investigation Officer] was asked to carry out an investigation. In conjunction with Peninsula, the respondent's external Human Resources advice provider, a decision was taken that the claimant was not to be suspended in connection with the incident”.

Peninsula, in order to exaggerate the alleged offence, convinced ET that Claimant had not only made the social media post, be he had also taken customer information from the hotel computer system (the system was called Brilliant). Peninsula put this to ET as fact when they knew full well it had never been investigated or established; the investigation notes themselves make no mention of where the information posted by Claimant had come from, the Claimant himself was never asked where the information had come from (once more Peninsula relying on something at ET that was never investigated, never established, and never put to Claimant during the disciplinary process).

A firm regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority is forbidden from allowing information, which they know or suspect is false, to be put forward as a truth to the Court ie that Claimant had taken customer information from the hotel computer system; when they knew this had never been investigated or established – but Peninsula are not regulated by the SRA.

‘Claimant posting information he had taken from hotel system’ was taken into account when the ET made their decision in favour of Respondent.




The ET added “The decision not to suspend the claimant was remarked upon by [Director/Appeal Officer] in an email addressed to [Investigation Officer] and to [Disciplinary Officer]. In that email [Appeal Officer] set out a timetable for what appeared to be an investigation and then a disciplinary meeting. I am satisfied that [Appeal Officer] was not at this stage getting involved in the merits of the actual disciplinary investigation. There is nothing particularly suspicious about the email. It is quite common for an organisation, when it is faced with potential disciplinary allegations, to map out a timetable for an investigation and then, if there is a case to answer, a disciplinary hearing, and to assign certain members of staff to deal with each stage of the process. It is an administrative exercise to ensure that the right personnel are available for each step. It is not expressing a concluded view as to whether each step will in fact be reached. I accept [Appeal Officer’s] evidence that he kept enough distance away from the actual facts of the case to enable him to be able to hear an appeal independently”.

Peninsula approved the Appeal Officer’s verbal evidence to ET that he kept his distance away from the facts of the case; which made him independent when hearing the appeal.

However, Peninsula failed to inform the ET that:

  • prior to any investigation into the allegations taking place, the Appeal Officer had personally rejected the issue be dealt with by a ‘Letter of Concern’.
  • prior to any investigation into the allegations taking place, the Appeal Officer wanted to by-pass the disciplinary process altogether because he had already pre-determined Claimant’s guilt and deemed the issue as Gross Misconduct – which was an instant dismissal.
  • prior to any investigation into the allegations taking place, Peninsula had to advise Appeal Officer that an investigation had to take place before they could look to take formal disciplinary action.
  • it was the Appeal Officer who initiated formal disciplinary proceedings because he couldn’t side-step the process and go directly to Gross Misconduct in order to dismiss Claimant.
  • prior to the disciplinary hearing taking place, Peninsula had several other phone calls with the Appeal Officer to discuss the issue.
That is not someone independent and keeping their distance away from the facts of the case; that is someone very much involved in the case from the offset, someone who has already made up their mind based on whatever groundless assumptions they held at the time, and someone who very quickly jumped on the first opportunity to remove Claimant from the business. Let us not forget, this sanction was issued in bad faith as it had been pre-determined; the investigation that was carried out did not establish any of the relevant facts relied on to sanction the Claimant. The Appeal Officer did not establish any of the relevant facts relied on in order to uphold the sanction; he simply upheld the sanction by relying on his own personal and unsupported views (which he already held prior to any investigation being carried out).

A firm regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority is forbidden from allowing information, which they know or suspect is false, to be put forward as a truth to the Court ie that Appeal Officer had kept his distance from the case; when they knew as fact he was involved from the very beginning and was pushing for dismissal before the disciplinary process had even started – but Peninsula are not regulated by the SRA.

‘The Appeal Officer keeping his distance from the case and being independent’ was taken into account when the ET made their decision in favour of Respondent.




The ET further stated “During [Investigation Officer’s] investigation, the claimant stated that he had emailed the computer records to his personal e-mail address, used PhotoShop to redact the customer's personal details, and uploaded the altered image to the social media site”.

Peninsula convinced ET that, during the investigation, Claimant had admitted to emailing computer records to his own personal email address. Peninsula put this to ET as fact when they knew full well it had never been investigated or established; the investigation notes themselves make no mention of Claimant emailing anything to himself or of Claimant making any such admission – in fact, ‘email’ is not mentioned anywhere in those notes (Peninsula again relying on something ET that was never investigated, never established, and never put to Claimant during the disciplinary process).

A firm regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority is forbidden from allowing information, which they know or suspect is false, to be put forward as a truth to the Court ie that Claimant admitted emailing customer records to his own personal email address; when they knew this had never been investigated, or established, and that no such admission was documented in the investigation notes – but Peninsula are not regulated by the SRA.

‘Claimant admitting to emailing computer records to himself’ was taken into account when the ET made their decision in favour of Respondent.




The ET continued “The claimant was then invited to a disciplinary meeting, chaired by [General Manager/Disciplinary Officer]. The invitation letter set out an allegation that the claimant had published personal information in a customer's bill on social media”.

Peninsula knew the Claimant was being invited to a disciplinary hearing under a false pretext because they had already informed Respondent several times that the social media post did not contain any customer personal information, but Peninsula failed to inform the ET of this; instead they allowed the ET to believe Claimant had published customer personal information.

A firm regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority is forbidden from allowing information, which they know or suspect is false, to be put forward as a truth to the Court ie that Claimant published ‘customer personal information’ on social media; when they knew the post did not contain any customer personal information – but Peninsula are not regulated by the SRA.

‘Claimant posting customer personal information on social media’ was taken into account when the ET made their decision in favour of Respondent.




The ET continued “Sadly, the meeting was rather dysfunctional. The claimant concentrated on technical definitions in the allegations in the invitation letter such as the legal definition of a "bill" and the definition of "personal information" in the Data Protection Act 1998. As a result, the conversation was repeatedly distracted away from the general point of concern that [Disciplinary Officer] wanted to discuss. What really bothered [Disciplinary Officer] was that it had been inappropriate to put the information on the social media site in the first place. [Disciplinary Officer] was further concerned that the claimant had emailed the unredacted information to his own personal e-mail address. That was an insecure method of handling customer information. In [Disciplinary Officer’s] view, these two matters amounted to misconduct. He decided to impose a final written warning”.


  • Claimant concentrated on technical definitions”: Claimant couldn’t argue against the evidence disclosed by Respondent, because they didn’t disclose any evidence! All Claimant had to work with to defend against the allegations was the investigation notes and the disciplinary invite letter; there was nothing in either of those to support the allegations. Claimant had no other choice but to brake the allegations down into separate components and disproved each part; Respondent alleged Claimant had published a customer ‘bill’ Claimant showed it was not a ‘bill’. Respondent alleged Claimant had published ‘customer personal information’ Claimant showed there was no customer personal information published. Claimant was unaware at the time that Peninsula had already supported his view regarding customer personal information and that they had informed Respondent several times there was no customer personal information published (a fact they failed to disclose to ET).
  • “The conversation was repeatedly distracted away from the general point of concern”: the claimant disproved the allegations put to him a piece at a time, but that didn’t fit in with Peninsula justifying a pre-determined sanction, so Peninsula convinced ET that Claimant’s defence just detracted from the Disciplinary Officer’s real points of concern; concerns which the Disciplinary Officer was free to document in the disciplinary invite letter and raise at any time during the meeting – but didn’t (couldn’t really have been concerns if he didn’t bother to put them in the letter or raise them at the meeting). And would you believe it, one of the alleged concerns was “that the claimant had emailed the unredacted information to his own personal e-mail address”; which was something that had never been investigated, never been established, was never put to Claimant during the disciplinary process, was never alleged in the disciplinary invite letter, and was never admitted by Claimant. Yet, Peninsula managed to convince ET to take these concerns into account when making their decision; which now made the concerns NEW allegations against Claimant (Peninsula once again relying on something at ET that was never investigated, never established, and never put to Claimant during the disciplinary process).
  • He decided to impose a final written warning”: and here we have it, Peninsula convinced the ET that the decision to impose the final written warning was made as a result of the disciplinary hearing – this was to hide the fact that the warning had been pre-determined and then approved by Peninsula 12 days prior to the hearing taking place (as confirmed in the email that was removed from the court bundle with the approval of Peninsula).
A firm regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority is forbidden from allowing information, which they know or suspect is false, to be put forward as a truth to the Court ie that again Claimant published ‘customer personal information’ on social media; when they knew the post did not contain any customer personal information. That the warning was given in good faith as it was only decided upon after the disciplinary hearing; when they knew full well the warning had been decided upon 12 days prior to the hearing – but Peninsula are not regulated by the SRA.

‘Claimant posting customer personal information on social media’ and ‘the previous warning being issued in good faith’ were taken into account when the ET made their decision in favour of Respondent.


Part 2 coming soon