Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Case round-upOn 5 Aug 2003 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Case round-up by Eversheds 020 7919 4500A tangled web? Ilangaratne v British Medical Assn, EAT/1025/01/ZT EAT website – Dr Ilangaratne was a doctor of Sri Lankan origin and a member of themedical union, the British Medical Association (BMA). The BMA produces amedical journal, the British Medical Journal (BMJ) and has a website to whichcontributions can be made via e-mail, to be published within 24 hours.Ilangaratne was a keen contributor by e-mail. Concerned about system abuse, however, the BMJ published an article entitled‘Bores on the web’. The BMJ published this on the same day as posting a messagefrom the doctor who complained of racial victimisation under section 11 of theRace Relations Act 1976 (prohibiting racial discrimination by a trade union). He believed the article reflected badly on him, suggesting he was a ‘bore’and publication of his contributions had also been deliberately delayed. Thetribunal dismissed his complaints of racial victimisation on both counts, acceptingthe incident was unfortunate but not deliberate. However, Ilangaratnesuccessfully appealed. The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) found the tribunal had failed toproperly consider the juxtaposition of the contribution to the website and the‘Bores on the web’ article and similarly appeared to accept the BMJ’s reason ofpractical difficulties for delays without question. It had failed to make theessential judgment about how the matter would be seen in the eyes ofIlangaratne and what the delay and juxtaposition of his publication would meanto him. So near but yet so far from unfair dismissal Harper v Virgin Net Ltd ,2003, All ER (D) 146 – Ms Harper was dismissed by the Virgin Net a few months short of one year’sservice. Had she been dismissed on three months’ notice according to hercontract she would have accrued a full year’s service and acquired unfairdismissal protection. She alleged that by summarily dismissing her without proper cause, andwithout adherence to her contract, the company had lost her the chance ofunfair dismissal compensation. The tribunal agreed, finding that Harper hadbeen wrongfully dismissed and that, by way of compensation, she should bereturned to the position she should have been, had she been able to raise anunfair dismissal complaint. The company successfully appealed. The EAT said that section 94(1) of the Employment Rights Act 1996 is subjectto restrictions including a qualifying period of one year. There is alreadybuilt-in protection within that statute extending the effective date oftermination by statutory minimum notice. This does not, however, extend tocontractual notice and, therefore, Harper did not qualify for protection.Following the Johnson v Unisys case she was also unable to seek loss for thefact and manner of her dismissal.