Honesty, Integrity and Employment Tribunals

The credibility of evidence offered by a claimant, witness or respondent in legal proceedings may be considered in fitness and propriety assessments. That is the implication of the judgement in Radia v Jefferies International Ltd UKEAT/0123/18/JOJ.

The case, which was heard at an Employment Appeal Tribunal, concerned a claim of unfair dismissal by a Senior Manager in an investment bank who had lost his job due to gross misconduct.

The claimant had previously brought an unsuccessful claim of disability discrimination against his employer at an employment tribunal in which it was held that his evidence was ‘not credible in many respects’ and ‘on lots of occasions evasive’, whereas evidence provided by the employer was deemed ‘credible and honest’.

The claimant was later suspended by his employer and subjected to disciplinary proceedings during which it was concluded that he was no longer considered ‘fit and proper’ to carry out a regulated role. The employers considered that the claimant had ‘materially and fundamentally breached’ his contract of employment ‘by acting dishonestly’. Under FCA rules, a person’s ‘honesty, integrity and reputation’ should be taken into consideration, including whether a person has been ‘criticised by a court or tribunal’. As such, the claimant was dismissed for gross misconduct. The subsequent case of unfair dismissal failed and was rejected on appeal.

People working in financial services should therefore remember that failing to be honest can be costly. Under SM&CR, which will apply to FCA solo-regulated firms from December 2019, Senior Managers and Certification Staff must be ‘fit and proper’ to carry out their roles and all financial services staff (except certain ancillary roles) will be subject to the FCA’s Conduct Rules. These measures increase personal accountability within the sector. Conduct breaches will be recorded on regulatory references for Senior Management and Certification roles which may have an adverse affect on individuals' careers within the sector.

About the author

Kate is the chairman and co-founder of RWA and has worked for the company for nearly 20 years. She is a fan of developing practical, workable, business-led policies and procedures. Kate has specialist training experience within the financial services sector, including major general insurers, and the Lloyd’s underwriting and broking market. She has researched and developed numerous training programmes, both for commercial and in-house use. She has extensive experience of developing in-house and public training programmes for business skills, including Diversity, Employment Law, Management and Leadership, Motivation, Coaching and Feedback, Communication Skills and EQ.

Get RWA Insight In Your Inbox

Regular business news and commentary delivered direct to your inbox each week. Sign up here