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RBS Group v Lindsay - Tribunal must apply "range of reasonable responses" test in unfair dismissal cases, not substitute its own view [2010] EAT

A Tribunal must not substitute its own view for that of the employer as to the reasonableness of dismissal as a response to an employee's misconduct: if the employer's investigation satisfies the Burchell criteria, the Tribunal's role is limited to determining whether the employer's conduct fell within the range of reasonable responses.

Mr Lindsay was employed as a senior manager at the Royal Bank of Scotland from 1 April 2007. He received, and forwarded to a subordinate colleague, an e-mail to which were attached eight photographs of naked women whose bodies were made up to give the impression that they were wearing football kits. At a disciplinary hearing in October 2008, this conduct was found to breach RBS's IT security policy, which dealt with the possession of pornography and other material inappropriate for the workplace. The policy provided that an employee in such a case could be determined to have committed misconduct or gross misconduct, depending in part on the employee's action upon receipt of the material. The outcome of the hearing was that Mr Lindsay was summarily dismissed, and an internal appeal upheld this finding.

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