Singe Benefits: £4785 for "causing" first degree burns.....

A warning for all employers that however appalling an employee's behaviour might be you can still end up losing an Employment Tribunal claim. In Gemma Notman v Hair Flair Salon a customer was getting highlights in her hair. She was left with a wound of about two to three inches wide on her head and hair began falling out. She went to casualty and then a burns unit, where specialists said there was a good chance her hair would not grow back.

The hairdresser was suspended following complaints by the customer. The Salon sent out a letter inviting her to a meeting to discuss gross misconduct. It did not specify what the alleged misconduct was or indicate that she was at risk of dismissal. At the hearing matters were raised which had not been referred to before. The Tribunal found that the real reason for dismissal was not that they believed the hairdresser had burnt the customer's head but because they wanted to show the customer that they had dealt with her complaint.

1) always set out that dismissal may be an outcome of a discplinary meeting where that is the case

2) always send out details of allegations of gross misconduct - eg when, where, what , who
3) don't get someone to put acid on your head

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