Fair Dismissal Of Postman Despite Flawed Appeals Process.

The Eat determined in a recently published decision (UD 507/2014) that a postman had been fairly dismissed for allowing others to deliver his mail despite an appalling appeals process with a delay of over 2 and a half years in dealing with the appeal.

The claimant was dismissed on 12th September 2011 as it was found that he had allowed other person(s) deliver his mail which was contrary to Postal Services regulations. The claimant appealed the decision on 13th September 2011 but did not receive a decision on his appeal until March 2014 as the HR Director had lost the file. The claimant remained on full pay during this whole period.

The claimant had a history of substance abuse and a poor attendance record but said that he did not have any recollection of being issued with postal rules and regulations by the Company and said that he had asked his girlfriend and sister to deliver his mail on a number of occasions as he couldn’t risk missing any further time from work.

The Company outlined that that there was a clear policy that did not permit mail to be delivered by non employees which the claimant had clearly breached and which they claimed was spelt out in the employee handbook, even though they did  not make it available to the Tribunal.  

The appeal was eventually conducted by the HR Director who conducted a review of the file with no hearing and the claimant received a letter dated 20th March 2014 informing him that the dismissal had been upheld.

Despite the length of time that it took to deal with the appeal and the actual manner in which the appeal took place, the EAT took the decision that the dismissal was fair as ultimately the conduct on which the decision was based was totally unacceptable and not permitted and the claimant had been given every opportunity in the early stages of the process prior to the appeal stage to explain his actions and to present a response to the allegations.