Dismissals aren't always effective

Opinion

Dismissals aren't always effective

It's a misconception to think that just because an employee has been sent a letter of dismissal that the dismissal has been effected. According to the Supreme Court in the case of Gisda Cyf v Barratt, for a dismissal letter to have been effected means that the employee must have read it. The date of sending or delivery are not relevant.

In this case, the employee was suspended from work, asked to attend a disciplinary hearing on a Tuesday, told that a letter concerning her possible dismissal would be sent to her two days later. She went away for the weekend and so didn't read the letter until the Monday - six days after the hearing and when the dismissal letter was presumably sent.

Why is this important? Because deadlines such as those that relate to the lodging of an unfair dismissal complaint are quite short. Being on the right side of a deadline can help a case significantly. 


This was first published in December 2010

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