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Monica Atwal gives a lawyer’s reaction to the unfair dismissal of a Tesco employee

A Tesco sales assistant who had worked at the supermarket for 26 years was unfairly dismissed after she was “erroneously” declared absent without leave while she was on holiday, a tribunal has ruled.

The London South Croydon tribunal found Julie Churcher was unable to respond to the letters inviting her to disciplinary hearings, nor could she appeal her eventual dismissal, because she was away.

Monica Atwal, managing partner at Clarkslegal, said the case was an example of “process failure”, which is a “risk, especially with larger multi-site employers, and we are all reliant on computer records”.

“There are a number of salutary lessons in this case,” she added. “An employer should ask: is this conduct out of character? As most employers show genuine concern when an employee does not turn up to work, and the process should allow time to provide an explanation.”

However, she commended the employer for admitting liability on the unfair dismissal claim – “mistakes happen”, Atwal said. “They also offered re-engagement. But judgment is also a reminder that remedy requires analysis of all heads of losses and the need for evidence on each element.”

Read the full article: People Management 

Monica Atwal

Managing Partner

View profile

+44 118 960 4605

An employer should ask: is this conduct out of character? As most employers show genuine concern when an employee does not turn up to work, and the process should allow time to provide an explanation.”

About this article

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This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full General Notices on our website.

Monica Atwal

Managing Partner

View profile

+44 118 960 4605

About this article

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