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Latest news and insights

Immigration changes – The impact on rural businesses

Fraser Vandal discusses changes to the UK's work visa rules and how these changes will impact rural businesses.

Long awaited Housing Bill introduced to Scottish Parliament

The long- awaited Housing (Scotland) Bill was introduced to the Scottish Parliament on 26 March 2024.

Land Reform (Scotland) Bill introduced March 2024

An overview of the content in Part 1 & 2 of the Land Reform (Scotland) Bill introduced to Parliament on 13 March 2024.

Latest news and insights

13 May 2024 | Time to read: 5 mins

Immigration changes – The impact on rural businesses

By Fraser Vandal

Fraser Vandal discusses changes to the UK's work visa rules and how these changes will impact rural businesses.

13 May 2024 | Time to read: 5 mins

Long awaited Housing Bill introduced to Scottish Parliament

By Stephen Gamba

The long- awaited Housing (Scotland) Bill was introduced to the Scottish Parliament on 26 March 2024.

05 April 2024 | Time to read: 3 mins

Land Reform (Scotland) Bill introduced March 2024

By Robert Scott-Dempster

An overview of the content in Part 1 & 2 of the Land Reform (Scotland) Bill introduced to Parliament on 13 March 2024.

05 April 2024 | Time to read: 3 mins

Gillespie Macandrew announced as Great Glen 2024 sponsor

By Lois Newton

Gillespie Macandrew is delighted to announce its sponsorship of the RSABI Great Glen Challenge 2024.

Montanaro v Lansafe Ltd ET/2203148/2020 – Employee who remained in Italy at outbreak of pandemic was automatically unfairly dismissed

Published: 16 August 2021
Time to read: 2 mins

Under s.100(1)(e) Employment Rights Act 1996, an employee is automatically unfairly dismissed if the principal reason (if more than one) for their dismissal is that, in circumstances of danger which the employee reasonably believed to be serious and imminent, they took (or proposed to take) appropriate steps to protect themselves or others from the danger.

Mr Montanaro (the employee) was employed by Lansafe Ltd (the employer). His employment began on 17 February 2020 and he was employed to provide services to the employer’s client. The employee had arranged to take a holiday for his sister’s wedding in Italy on 09 and 10 March. Italy went into lockdown on 09 March and UK government guidance was 14 days’ isolation on return from Italy.  The following day (10 March), the employee was told to keep his mobile and laptop on and await instructions. On 11 March, the employer sent a letter to the employee’s London address (despite knowing he was in Italy) dismissing the employee with effect from 06 March. The reason for dismissal was the employee’s failure to follow company procedures and taking unauthorised leave. The employee did not hear from the employer and followed instructions from the employer’s client to continue working remotely. The employee continued to send information to the employer about travel restrictions in Italy. On 01 April, the employer sent the employee’s P45 and final payslip by email. The employee successfully claimed automatic unfair dismissal under section 100(1)(e) Employment Rights Act 1996.

When considering whether to dismiss an employee, employers must make sure to follow the correct procedure. In Montanaro, the employer failed to communicate effectively with the employee and dismissal took place without a proper investigation or disciplinary hearing. It is not enough for an employer to simply notify the employee in writing.

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