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Law: All is not lost with expired disciplinary warnings – read on

In a recent case (Airbus UK Ltd v Webb) an employee had been given a final warning for gross misconduct for fraudulent use of company time.

The warning was to expire after 12 months.

Approximately three months after the expiry of the warning, the same employee was caught with four others watching TV outside normal break times.

He was dismissed but not the other four.

In the claim of unfair dismissal the employer argued the expired final warning was only one of the circumstances of dismissal.

They considered the final misconduct was the principal reason for the dismissal (which they were entitled to do).

The other four ‘offenders’ were given final warnings.

The employee’s claim was dismissed but it was stressed that his was a special case and should not be applied in all circumstances.

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