Can you imagine the anguish? You’ve been sacked, unfairly in your view. You’re then advised the dismissal has been overturned on appeal. Hurray. 

But when the written confirmation comes through it turns out the appeal panel’s decision has been overturned, and sacked you remain.

I will refrain from passing comment whilst we await the tribunal’s decision. The situation may well be more nuanced – they normally are. But I will give a few words of advice to employers:

1. Have a clear policy with a clear appeal procedure. I have not seen South Tyneside Council’s policy. Perhaps they adhered to it completely. I would suggest that in most instances small businesses can keep their procedure simple. If it says that the employee can appeal to X, then allow X to consider the appeal and stick by the decision.

2. It often pays to be decisive. Certainly think before you act, but in matters affecting an employee’s future, sometimes the uncertainty is the most difficult part to deal with.

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