The Employment Appeal Tribunal ("EAT") has upheld a tribunal's decision that two care home night support employees, dismissed for being asleep on duty, were not automatically unfairly dismissed under section 101A of the Employment Rights Act 1996.
The EAT acknowledged that the employees had not been granted rest breaks under regulation 12 of the Working Time Regulations 1998. However, the employees had not, within the meaning of section 101A, "refused" either to comply with a requirement imposed in contravention of the WTR 1998 or to forego a right under those regulations. A "refusal" for section 101A purposes must be explicit and cannot be implied by an employee's conduct. (Ajayi and another v Aitch Care Homes (London) Ltd UKEAT/0464/11.)