Nick Smith wins key EAT appeal on behalf of ex Welsh National Opera principal oboe player

On the 20th May the EAT held that the Cardiff employment tribunal had erred in it's findings in relation to the interpretation of the collective agreement it had made with the Musicians Union governing dismissal for poor artistic performance.

The error of construction under pinned the issue of the fairness of the dismissal and the matter has been remitted to a fresh tribunal.

The tribunal ruled that the employer was able to circumvent the provisions of the collective agreement despite the efforts made by the appellant's solicitors efforts to agree a fair process by which performance in ensemble situations could be fairly assessed.

EAT agreed with the submissions made on behalf of the appellant and held that the employer was bound by the collective agreement.

The EAT's assessment of the contractual procedure will be of considerable importance in the re-hearing of this matter.

The matter attracted significant press coverage both in Wales and the National press and is set to do so again.

Counsel Nick Smith