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Working Men's Club And Institute Union Ltd v Balls - Relaxed approach to criticisms of employer at hearing not specifically pleaded [2011] EAT

During an unfair dismissal case, criticisms of an employer's conduct often arise which were not pleaded. If they raise a whole new case they should not be admitted, at least not without formal amendment if objected to, which will involve the tribunal considering whether their late admission prejudices the employer. However, if they merely amplify more general criticisms that the employer was, anyway, ready to meet, a more relaxed approach by the tribunal is appropriate.  

Mr Balls was the manager of the CIU convalescent home at Saltburn. Without warning he was called into a meeting, suspended, and told an investigation would be conducted into him. The allegations were of gross misconduct and surrounded his alleged handling of sub-contractors and his refusal to carry out management instructions.

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