Redundancy and Furlough Leave

Advice  |   16 May 2023

In Lovingangels Care Home Ltd v Mhindurwa the EAT has upheld the Employment Tribunal’s decision that the Claimant was unfairly dismissed by reason of redundancy because the Respondent did not consider the possibility of placing the Claimant on furlough leave.

The Claimant worked as a live in carer for the Respondent. During the Covid-19 pandemic the person she cared for went into hospital and, whilst the Claimant would normally have moved to care for another of the Respondent’s clients, the Respondent did not have another client due to the pandemic. The Claimant was dismissed for reason of redundancy.

The Employment Tribunal held that the Respondent should have considered the possibility of placing the Claimant on furlough leave for a period to see if the situation would improve or whether there might be another client and, in failing to do so, had dismissed the Claimant unfairly.

The EAT held that determination of a case that occurred during the pandemic did not require a variation of the law of unfair dismissal, and that the Employment Judge was therefore entitled to apply the same approach to furlough as he would to any possible alternative to dismissal that an employer, might, in appropriate circumstances, be expected to consider if acting reasonably.

Should you require any advice in relation to matters similar to the above, redundancy or otherwise, please do not hesitate to contact the Employment Team on 020 8290 0440.

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