In the case of Mhindurwa v Lovingangels Care Limited (June 2021), the Employment Tribunal found that the employer had dismissed its employee unfairly on the basis that the employer had failed to give careful consideration to placing the employee on furlough.
The employee was a care assistant. She had just over two years’ employment at the time of her dismissal. She was employed to provide live-in care for an elderly woman who, in February 2020, moved into a care home. As a result of this, the employee’s role became redundant. In May 2020 she asked to be furloughed, but this was refused because her employer said there was no work for her. She made redundant in July 2020.
The tribunal judge at paragraph 46 of the judgment stated “ The respondent does not appear to have considered whether the claimant should be furloughed for a period of time to see what if any change there was in the availability of live-in care work or other work that the claimant could take on”
The tribunal judge at paragraph 48 of the judgment expressed their view; “I am of the view that the failure to give consideration to the possibility of furlough and the failure to offer the claimant a proper appeal render the claimant’s dismissal unfair”
The tribunal found in the employee’s favour and the redundancy was deemed to be an unfair dismissal. Employers should make sure that consideration of the furlough scheme is factored into to any redundancy decision, prior to dismissal.
This article is intended for general information purposes only and should not be relied upon in place of specific legal advice. If you have an employment query then please do not hesitate to contact our litigation team for advice and assistance.