Bad Reputation – an Approved Person should “give a damn”’ about their Reputation
The EAT has held in the case of Rada v Jefferies International Limited that an FCA regulated firm was entitled to dismiss an approved person without further investigation by relying on the findings of an Employment Tribunal (in separate proceedings) that he lacked credibility as a witness and was not, therefore, a "fit and proper person".
During his employment, the employee had previously brought an unsuccessful disability discrimination claim whilst employed. In that claim, the Tribunal made adverse findings about his credibility and evasiveness as a witness and found that he had given misleading evidence. However, the Tribunal’s findings did not go as far as saying that he had been dishonest. The employer subsequently relied upon the Tribunal’s findings to justify the employee’s dismissal on the basis that he was not ‘fit and proper’.
Regulated firms in the financial services sector are obliged to ensure that regulated and certified staff are fit and proper to perform their roles. No further investigation was carried out by the firm prior to dismissal, save for giving the employee an opportunity to comment on the Tribunal’s findings at the disciplinary hearing. In concluding that the employee was not fit and proper, the firm took into account the FCA’s guidance that when assessing fitness and propriety all relevant matters should be considered, including whether a person had been criticised by a court or tribunal.
The employee brought an unfair dismissal claim which did not succeed. His appeal to the EAT failed. The EAT confirmed that his dismissal was fair and that it had been reasonable for the firm to rely on the Tribunal’s findings as to his credibility, which were sufficiently damaging without the need to prove deliberate dishonesty.
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