Reasons to choose Wilson Browne
In a recently reported Tribunal decision of Fekete v Citibank it was decided that the claimant’s conduct was a fair reason for his dismissal as his conduct resulted in the breach of Citibank’s trust and confidence.
Mr Fekete went on a business trip in Amsterdam, and claimed expenses for two sandwiches, two coffees and two pasta dishes which he said he had eaten himself. However, his manager queried his expenses as it is Citibank’s expenses policy that it is only expenses incurred by the employee themselves that can be claimed – spousal travel and meals were not reimbursable.
After initially indicating that everything ordered was for him, Mr Fekete later contradicted himself and said that his partner (who was not an employee of Citibank) had accompanied him on the trip, and they had shared his meals.
After the investigation, Mr Fekete was dismissed on the grounds of gross misconduct. He then brought claims for wrongful and unfair dismissal.
The Employment Tribunal held that as a result of Mr Fekete’s dishonesty and misrepresentation his conduct was a fair reason for dismissal. Mr Feteke was provided with plenty of opportunity to make full and frank disclosure, but he decided not to.
The moral of the case is that the implied duty of trust and confidence goes both ways; it is applicable to both the employer and employee. Whilst employers need to have trust and confidence in their employees, this must be reciprocated by the employees with honesty and integrity. This case goes to show that dishonest conduct can have drastic consequences for employees.