When the employee, a senior director with over 40 years of service, was identified as at risk of redundancy, he was put on garden leave.
The tribunal and Employment Appeal Tribunal were very critical of the “perfunctory and insensitive” manner in which the employer approached consultation. The EAT concluded that the way the employer had treated the employee suggested that the outcome of the process was predetermined and that this could make the dismissal unfair. The case will now be re-heard by a new tribunal.
Employers should carefully consider how to deal with senior employees at risk of redundancy, especially at the beginning of the redundancy consultation process, and in particular what access they have to systems and clients, and whether it is reasonable to put them on garden leave.