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Success in Scotland – British Airways v Higgins Appeal


In British Airways v Higgins Appeal No. UKEATS/0016/15/SM the Scottish EAT dismissed British Airways’ appeal against the finding of the Scottish employment tribunal that the Claimant had been constructively unfairly dismissed.

The Claimant had worked as a licenced aircraft engineer for more than 27 years without incident. However, after a maintenance error on a particular shift he was dismissed. On appeal that dismissal was changed to a three grade demotion. The Claimant resigned and claimed constructive unfair dismissal. The employment tribunal found in favour of the Claimant holding that the sanction imposed was disproportionate and draconian. British Airways appealed to the EAT seeking to argue that the decision was perverse and raising a number of new points not raised before the tribunal.

The EAT (Lady Stacey presiding) rejected all of BA’s grounds of appeal, finding that the decision was not perverse and that there was no exceptional reason to allow the new points to be considered. She further held that, in any event, none of the new points raised had any merit.

Lance Harris successfully represented the Claimant at the original trial and on appeal.

This case was also reported on the Lawtel daily update on 7th January 2016.

British Airways, unfair dismissal, constructive dismissal, Lance Harris, Old Square Chambers

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