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Williams v (1) Guardian Care Homes Ltd & Others (2) Reay - Tribunal must identify who was employer of unfairly dismissed claimant [2011] EAT

An employee has the right not to be unfairly dismissed by their employer: if the identity of that employer is in issue an employment tribunal must determine who that employer is. It is not open to a tribunal to simply say that the employee was clearly employed by one of a group of companies and so declare all those companies jointly and severally liable for the unfair dismissal.

Mrs Williams and Mrs Reay both worked as managers for Guardian Care Homes or - as was established at the subsequent employment tribunal hearing - one of the subsidiary companies within that group, all of which were ultimately owned by a Mr Hartland. The factual background to the case is long and complex, but the essential points are that Mrs Williams and Mrs Reay submitted grievances alleging bullying and in due course both went off sick with stress. Those grievances were not upheld. 

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