Central & NW London NHS Foundation Trust v Abimbola - Reinstatement: Practicality and the exercise of the tribunal's discretion [2009] EAT

This case is authority for the proposition that reinstatement of an unfairly dismissed employee is not "practicable" where mutual trust and confidence has been lost.

Psychiatric nurse Mr Abimbola was dismissed. A disciplinary hearing concluded that the way he had restrained a disturbed patient during an incident at a hospital amounted to assault. He also received a written warning for assault on another patient. The employment tribunal, whilst satisfied that the Trust had a genuine belief that Mr Abimbola had held the patient in a headlock and so assaulted him, held that it did not have reasonable grounds for that belief. It reiterated that, particularly in cases such as this (where Mr Abimbola had 22 years experience and such a finding against would probably prevent him working in his field again) an employer must adopt an even-handed approach. The dismissal was therefore unfair. Furthermore it rejected a contention that Mr Abimbola contributed to his dismissal.

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