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Exeter Flying Club v Little - Employer's genuine belief, on reasonable grounds, of misconduct must be established [2009] EAT

Exeter Flying Club dismissed pilot Mr Little for, among other things, flying a Club aeroplane on a commercial flight in breach of the Air Navigation Order (ANO). Mr Little claimed unfair dismissal: an employment tribunal agreed with him. On the ANO point it concluded that there had not been a proper investigation and that the Club "rushed to judgment".  It made no finding that the ANO had actually been breached.

The Club appealed, claiming that there was ample evidence before the tribunal to demonstrate that there actually had been a breach of the ANO, and that in this regard a reasonable investigation had been conducted by the Club. It submitted that, had the tribunal considered the matter properly, it could not have reached the conclusion that an employer was not entitled to dismiss an employee who was ultimately responsible for effective regulatory compliance in circumstances where he acted in contravention of those regulations.  

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