Knowledge of the person making the decision to dismiss is what counts!
9th February - In the recent case of Orr v Milton Keynes Council, the appellant, had been dismissed following two separate incidents, including rudeness to his line manager, M, both of which his employer found amounted to gross misconduct. The decision maker had been unaware that the second incident had been provoked by the conduct and language of M, which the Tribunal later found amounted to direct race discrimination....
The Defendant won their case at the Employment Appeals Tribunal but the Court of Appeal (the next step up) restored the original decision of the Employment Tribunal. The Court of Appeal thus held by a majority that the tribunal had been correct to conclude that the dismissal remained fair because the decision, on the facts known to the decision maker, was reasonable.
Sedley LJ regarded what was known by the employer and the employees at the time and decided accordingly. Therefore, the moral of the story is that it is what was known by the employer at the time of dismissal is crucial.