Explain the legal issues relating to the unfair dismissal claim and advise Gary whether or not Ron potentially has a case.

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CASE STUDY – Data Services Ltd

Answer the question which relates to the case study below.

Data Services Ltd is part of a global company Global Data Ltd that offers data processing services worldwide (specializing in mobile technology). Data Services Ltd, however, is a small part of the business, employing only 15 people based in St Albans. Of those 15, eight are sales people. All sales staff are paid a basic salary which is fairly modest at £15,000, but they earn substantially more than that in commission from sales. Ron is one of the sales team. He has been with Data Services Ltd for 10 years, and is very successful. He always meets, if not exceeds, his targets and as a result has an income of around £80,000 a year.

He is a German national and is primarily responsible for German and Austrian clients.All members of the sales team have a company car, as they are required to travel all over the UK and Europe. Ron has a “fuel card” which he can use to pay for fuel when he fills up. Ron’s fuel card has his car’s registration number on it. He does not have to submit any expense claims, but is expected to keep his own records as to business mileage (for tax purposes).

A discrepancy in the use of Ron’s fuel card was brought to the attention of Ana – the current finance director of Data Services Ltd – by Card Agency Services who administer the use of the fuel card. It noted that Ron’s card had been used twice on the same day – to purchase fuel valued at £68.14 at 18.05, and £53.60 at 18.10. Ana then looked into the records relating to the use of Ron’s fuel card, and found other discrepancies where fuel had been purchased either twice on the same day, or within one or two days.

Ana prepared a report for Gary. Having read the report, Gary called Ron to his office and confronted him with the discrepancies, asking for an explanation. Ron vehemently denied that he had done anything wrong. When asked to explain how he had used so much fuel, he was unable to recall why he had filled up twice on the particular dates. There was a heated exchange which ended with Gary saying: “Oh come off it, Ron, you know the rules: you’re fired!” A few minutes later Ron left the building. Data Services Ltd has recently received an ET1 form in which Ron claims that he has been unfairly dismissed.

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