Can You Dismiss An Employee For Refusing to Work Due to Covid-19?

Posted in : First Tuesday Q&A NI on 5 July 2022
Chris Fullerton
Arthur Cox NI
Issues covered: Covid-19; Unfair Dismissal; Health and safety

The EAT held in Rodgers v Leeds Laser Cutting Limited that an employee who refused to return to his workplace during the first lockdown in 2020 was not automatically dismissed. This was one of the first appellate considerations of a covid-19 related dismissal.

The claimant in this case had a child with a medical condition putting them at a higher risk from Covid-19. The claimant argued his dismissal was unfair because his failure to return to work was in circumstances of ‘serious and imminent danger’. The employer in this case had implemented considerable steps to mitigate the dangers of Covid-19. The EAT considered the size of the warehouse, number of employees on site, claimant’s

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Back to Q&A's This article is correct at 05/07/2022

The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.

Chris Fullerton
Arthur Cox NI

The main content of this article was provided by Chris Fullerton. Contact telephone number is 028 9023 0007 or email

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