Sacked for Knife Threat - £4000 awarded!

Another salutary tale from Scotland. In Kathleen Telford v Castlehead Nursing Home the Claimant is reported to have threatened to to "bleed" a co-worker with a knife. She was sacked for gross misconduct. On the face of it that should be a fair dismissal. However the employer suspended her for a "serious allegation" without specifying what the allegation was. She attended the hearing without knowing exactly what the accusation against her was. This was a breach of the statutory disciplinary procedure and so automatically unfair. She was awarded just over £4000 compensation. This was after the Tribunal had reduced her award by 15% for contributing to her dismissal - which certainly appears to be on the low side. The lesson for employers is make sure you spell out clearly what the allegation is when you invite someone to a disciplinary meeting.

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