The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has upheld a tribunal decision that on the facts the claimant did not have a reasonable belief that there were serious and imminent circumstances of danger preventing him from returning to work
His claim for unfair dismissal under s.100(1)(d) Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA) therefore failed.
The EAT said the tribunal had made a number of significant findings of fact that were contrary to the claimant’s contention that he believed there were serious and imminent circumstances of danger both at work and in other places outside his home due to Covid. For example the workplace was large and few people worked in it, he could generally maintain social distance at work, he had not asked for a mask at work (though these were available), he drove his friend to hospital while he was meant to be self-isolating, and he worked in a pub during the lockdown.
The EAT did say that if an employee reasonably believed there was a serious and imminent circumstance of danger that existed outside his place of work and could prevent him from returning to it, that could potentially fall within s.100(1)(d) ERA.
The case is Rodgers v Leeds Laser Cutting, www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKEAT/2022/69.html .
Update, August 2022: This decision is being appealed to the Court of Appeal.