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London Central Bus Company Ltd v Nana-Addai - Correct approach to wrongful dismissal cases [2011] EAT

Unfair dismissal involves an assessment based on what an employer reasonably genuinely believed to have happened. With wrongful dismissal, on the other hand, it is for the court to decide what, as a matter of fact, actually happened and whether it was so fundamental a breach as to justify instant dismissal: the employer's perception of what happened is irrelevant.

Mr Nana-Addai was a bus driver for London Central Bus Company Ltd (LCBC). He was dismissed summarily for not ensuring there were check links on the wheels of the bus he was the first to drive that day. LCBC said that the consequences of his negligence was that a wheel came off the bus later in the day, and although the consequences were not serious, they could have been. Mr Nana-Addai claimed to have checked the wheels.

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