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An Employment Tribunal has ruled in the case of Kubilius v Kent Foods Ltd ET/3201960/2020 that an employer’s decision to dismiss an employee for refusing to wear a face mask at one of their client’s premises was fair. In coming to their decision, Employment Judge Barrett considered that the reason for dismissal was fair, a fair procedure was followed and the decision to dismiss was within the range of reasonable responses.

This appears to be one of the first of many claims which will highlight the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and it’s interaction with employment law in the UK. In some sense, there has been uncertainty surrounding various matters of employment law because there have been no precedents or specific pieces of legislation enacted for employers to look at when deciding how to manage their employees during a pandemic. However, it is clear that the existing principles of employment law will be applied to the facts of each case in any event.

While the judgment is only a first instance decision, and can be appealed, this may serve to help both employers and employees to understand their position on wearing masks at the work place, and in particular at a client’s work place.

If you would like to discuss this judgment, your obligations as an employer, or your rights as an employee, please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of our experienced employment team on or call us on 01484 821 500