Eirwen Pierrot represented the successful appellant in the Employment Appeal Tribunal in a case concerning (i) the Employment Tribunal’s failure to give adequate reasons for its decision and (ii) the proper interpretation of the employer’s contractual disciplinary procedure. HHJ Hand QC allowed the appeal on both grounds.
Of the second ground of appeal, which concerned whether the Employment Tribunal had erred in law by interpreting the employer’s disciplinary policy as meaning that discussing alternatives to suspension was not mandatory but “merely encouraged”, HHJ Hand QC accepted Eirwen’s submissions and concluded that the Tribunal’s interpretation was “untenable”. The Tribunal had failed to properly consider the first step in contractual interpretation and to ask itself what is the ordinary meaning of the words looking at all the circumstances at the time the contract was entered into.
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